argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
sword arthurs 02

As you might gather from the months of non-updates, this account is semi-retired. I don't plan on deleting anything from it, and I might make the occasional update where there's something I can't say in another way, but for the most part, what's here is it.

Our ATS bellydance teacher is on indefinite hiatus, so we've been practising at one of our dancer's houses. We have three performances in April. The first is a pop-themed event, so we're dancing to "Gangnam Style," which is a lot more fun than it has any right to be. The last is in a theatre an hour away; the first half of our performance will have zills (finger cymbals) and the second half will have baskets. Balancing the basket on my head during a live performance is the part that I'm most nervous about; I recently performed with a sword for the first time and when I went to balance it my entire body felt like it was shaking. (Sometimes I also tense up when playing zills from trying too hard, which makes it harder to stay on beat.)

After April, all we have planned right now is a summer library program and a possible farmer's market.

In June, there's a three-day ATS workshop with zills and sword that I'm really looking forward to. The only downside is it starts the same day my supervisor at work is retiring.

There's another performance at the end of July. I might try to put together a second solo for it.

At the end of September, there's a three-day ATS camp about two hours south; maybe we can go with our troupe? (Even if we don't, we hope to go to NYC at least one Saturday to take classes at Manhattan Tribal.)

As my early birthday present to myself, I bought a doumbek, a common drum in Middle Eastern music. I've been slowly teaching myself the various rhythms. As you might surmise, most of my free time and money goes to bellydance in one form or another, whether it's practising, attending classes or workshops, costuming, finding new music, reviewing moves in my head, etc. This is actually one of the reasons I want to retire my LJ -- all the other bellydancers are on Facebook and I doubt many of the people I met here are that interested (understandably; I was into many other different things years ago when I first made this account).

Work is good, though there are a few changes coming up in staffing. I'm so grateful to have a job with a steady schedule and weekends off; it makes it much easier to plan performances and has improved my sleep.

Fandom is still just Dragon Age 2. I'm looking forward to Captain America: Civil War, but have a hard time getting into the fandom.

If this is my last update, take care and follow your bliss.

Two more photos from recent performances. )
argurotoxos: a woman with a skeleton face holds another woman (Sylvia Ji - sleep)
I uploaded selected photos from the family reunion to my Ocean (Portland, Maine) scrapbook a while ago, but never included them in a post. The first page has all of the 2015 photos.

In other news, I got a job with the county, over three years after I took the civil service exam. My start date is October 5th. I'm working Sundays only at my current job until November 1st, which is my final day.

Shakti! (our American Tribal Style belly dance troupe) has been performing about twice a month. Our first paid gig is near the end of October for a breast cancer fundraiser. Tribal fusion class has moved back to Tuesday, so I'm currently taking American Tribal Style (ATS) on Wednesday and beginner flamenco on Thursday. Lately, I've been staying for the intermediate flamenco class after ATS Wednesdays as well. I'm so glad I got into belly dance; I've met great people, had some wonderful experiences, get to wear costumes and perform, and have learned so much, plus improved my fitness.

Fandom is mostly Dragon Age 2 (Fenris/Male Hawke).
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Christmas didn't feel as much like Christmas this year. We didn't put our tree, lights, or any ornaments up. My grandparents sent us a lovely wreath and centrepiece from L. L. Bean, so we moved the outdoor wreath indoors and put all the presents under that. We had no snow Christmas Day, and the weather was warm but windy -- nice enough to sit outside without a coat. I also worked both the day before and the day after Christmas.

Wednesday night we each opened one present, as per our Christmas Eve tradition. We also watched the first hour of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. (More on the movie later.)

We had a late lunch Christmas Day, picked up from a restaurant the day before: prime rib, asparagus, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, Caesar salad, and Italian cookies (including my favourite, cannoli). Opening presents took up the next hour or two; it was fun and quiet, with most gifts from each other or relatives, plus Kun and Sarah. (I had gotten together with my three local friends earlier in the month.) We saw the rest of The Hobbit (Part 2), and ended the evening playing Apples to Apples (which I bought on Black Friday) and Star Fluxx (one of my gift requests). It's been quite a while since we had new games to play, or played board/card games together in general.

My mom, the only one of us who has read The Hobbit, did not like The Desolation of Smaug at all. She felt it altered too much from the book and the only thing she did like was Smaug himself, both aurally and visually. I felt that, in the efforts to tie The Hobbit back into The Lord of the Rings and make it more action-oriented, Bilbo was left with hardly anything to do. Even though I thought the first Hobbit film was too long and repetitious, the scene with Gollum was excellent at showing Bilbo's skill with words and wits (which seems to be his main talent in the book) rather than fighting. The Necromancer/Sauron storyline overshadows that of the dwarves' (one city or a whole world?) and pushes the film into a darker tone. The Orcs are simply fodder for the heroes, Legolas is pure fanservice, and most of the fighting technique is totally ridiculous.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and a happy 2015.

This year flew by, especially the last two months. One of my biggest struggles continues to be how to balance things in my life: work, family, my somewhat new and still surprising social life with friends, belly dancing, chores around the house, alone/relaxation time, and other desires (like looking for a new job, answering emails, and dealing with paperwork with deadlines). For most of December I worked overtime with only one day off a week. There's just so many things I want to get done and I don't have the time or energy to do them, which often leads to me stressing myself out, feeling guilty, and/or criticizing myself.

On the other hand, I think I like myself more as a person now than I have for several (many?) years. I'm more active and have been developing and enjoying many diverse interests that I don't think are that common, especially combined: belly dancing, corseting, reading (especially non-fiction), reptiles (especially lizards). I'm still interested in comics, Thief, science fiction, and other, older mainstays, but not to the extent I used to be. In short, I've noticed these changes more acutely this year and think I look forward to seeing the person I become, hopefully possessed of both more knowledge and more kindness. (I don't believe in fate, destiny, karma, or the like, but I do believe in being influenced by your experiences, environment, acquaintances, and memories.)

Below is a short look back at 2014, or at least the multimedia side, with a bias toward the latter part of the year.

Favourite book: Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Best show of 2014: Would I Lie To You?, a BBC panel-based game show [My dad and I watched this all in a few months.]

Favourite new podcast: Infants on Thrones

Best new YouTube channel: Lindybeige

Best fanfiction: Wild Ambition Fortune's Ice Prefers by amberfox17

Number of dance classes taken: 20, with three different teachers/locations

Songs/Lyrics of the year: "Sin Skinner" by Diary of Dreams
("Keep my integrity intact,
I want to base my life on facts.
Whatever comes, I never know,
but life will ultimately show."

and "Former Me" by Neuroticfish
("You are possessed,
By what the people say or do,
With every step,
You know it never suits you.
You think you're dirt,
And everybody hates it,
Rewind, don't tell me that you're wasted."
argurotoxos: fanart of Lady Loki amused (Lady Loki - snerk | by etrangere)
Today I:

-Got up around 9 AM and drove over to have breakfast, go on a morning walk, and talk with one of my closest friends. (A few days ago, we went on an 11-mile bike ride together.)

-Stopped at the doctor's office to pick up a script for my mom and make my annual physical appointment. One of the receptionists actually gave me a printed copy of my immunization record at no cost. (The last time I'd tried to get it, I was told they would have to print my whole medical record and charge me almost $40. It's still crazy to me that I can't get my whole medical record without paying for it, or even read it myself at the office, but having the immunization list is a start.)

-Went to my bank's ATM for more cash.

-Bought a second watering can (for the back porch plants), another bottle of sunscreen, and some cheap, scented bubble bath at Walmart.

-Returned some of my and my mom's books at the library. I normally never eat while reading physical books, especially library books, but did one day at work when no one else was on to have lunch with and, sure enough, I spilled some food on it. It doesn't look that bad, but it's an interlibrary loan book, so it's up to the original library to decide if they just want to note the condition or if they want me to pay for a new copy. I also checked out a number of audio CDs and a few new books for Maine and the car drive. (CDs -- The Music Rough Guides to the Himalayas, Japan, Turkish Cafe, and Scandinavia; The Art of Seduction: Gypsy Nights - Belly Dance Music of the Balkans; books -- Belly Dancing Basics by Laura A. Cooper, Funny Misshapen Body by Jeffrey Brown, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera, The Zen Path through Depression by Philip Martin. I'm still reading The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo.)

-Picked up my mom's prescriptions at CVS.

-Had a quick lunch (thai curry TV dinner) while reading the newest chapter of one of my current favourite fanfics (A Week is a Long Time in Vanaheim by Hermaline75, Loki/Thor, pre-MCU, explicit, WIP).

-Put on some sunscreen and worked outside. Watered the flowers. Planted some creeping thyme in my small front garden. Moved one of my marigolds that was started to wilt from a clay pot into the soil near the thyme. Swept off the front steps. My plants: two marigolds in clay pots and one amaryllis in my bedroom; cactus and regular zinnia, thyme, and one marigold up front; one marigold, one amaryllis, and two pots of three morning glories each on the back porch.

-Helped my dad check the fluid levels and air conditioning system in my car. He checked the other two cars while I had a short dinner and changed.

-Went to the first class of a new belly dance session half an hour away. The drive wasn't as bad as I'd expected, and the place was easy to find. There were almost 30 people there, some who had taken prior classes with the instructor and some who were completely new, ranging from late teens to 60s! Most people did have their own hip scarfs, though. The studio was an actual dance studio with wooden floors, a barre, and full-length mirrors across one wall. Oh, what a beautiful sight! The mirrors really do help, and I found myself automatically going into ballet warm-ups. It was quite a difference from my experience with the nearby belly dance class, where I was the only one there and the studio was designed primarily as a yoga studio, with no mirrors or barre and just painted concrete. Even though I enjoyed having more people in the class, I also found myself feeling very self-conscious and had a hard time relaxing. The instructor seemed much more knowledgeable, gregarious, and willing to give constructive criticism than the local one, although also a bit absent-minded. I'll be in Maine next week, but signed up for the rest of the session, which will be every Thursday night at 6 PM through 17 July. To my surprise, the instructor said she might even cover veil and zill (finger cymbal) use even though it's a beginner class.

-Came home and ate some fried rice with my parents.

-I might burn some music CDs for Maine after finishing this.

I work tomorrow 7:30 AM - 4:15 PM, Saturday 8 AM - noon (in theory; it might change). If we don't leave for Maine on Sunday, I might go to my close friend's house; he's off that day and their pool might be open.
argurotoxos: Loki from Thor: The Dark World (Loki - The Dark World | by ariyanaforeve)
After watching series three of BBC's Sherlock, my dad and I rewatched the two earlier series. Below is my list of favourite to least favourite episodes from series one and two with no spoilers.

1. "A Study in Pink" (series one, episode one; written by Steven Moffat) -- A very strong introductory episode that has a compelling plot, great characterisation, and several nice mysteries. It would be hard to ask for a better opening.

2. "The Reichenbach Fall" (series two, episode three; written by Stephen Thompson) -- I've seen this episode more than any other. This is my favourite appearance by Moriarty; his plan to discredit Sherlock is clever and we really see Sherlock under pressure.

3. "The Hounds of Baskerville" (series two, episode two; written by Mark Gatiss) -- An interesting update to one of my favourite Holmes stories, though I liked this episode less the second time around. One of my biggest problems is the completely unrealistic computer security.

4. "Scandal in Belgravia" (series two, episode one; written by Steven Moffat) -- I was surprised how much I enjoyed my second viewing of this episode as I hadn't liked it much the first time -- Irene Adler's portrayal was completely different from what I'd expected, and I was disappointed by the resolution to series one's cliffhanger. (In general, I think the Sherlock series fit together better when you watch them in a row; the year or more break between seasons builds up too high expectations.)

5. "The Great Game" (series one, episode one; written by Mark Gatiss) -- The first Moriarty episode; I liked this episode more the first time around, and feel it's now completely overshadowed by "The Reichenbach Fall."

6. "The Blind Banker" (series one, episode two; written by Stephen Thompson) -- I thought this was a weird and boring episode the first time around, and had the same reaction the second time.

I've only see the series three episodes once, but if I were to add them to the above, the list would look like this:

1. "A Study in Pink"
2. "The Reichenbach Fall"
3. "The Hounds of Baskerville"
4. "Scandal in Belgravia"
5. "The Empty Hearse" (series three, episode one; written by Mark Gatiss)
6. "The Great Game"
7. "The Blind Banker"
8. "The Sign of Three" (series three, episode two; written by Stephen Thompson, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss)
9. "His Last Vow" (series three, episode three; written by Steven Moffat)

As you can tell, I didn't much like series three. "The Empty Hearse" is my favourite of the three, especially for the Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes interactions. Mycroft is one of the things I like most about the BBC Sherlock; his relationship with Sherlock is complicated and compelling, as is his relationship with John, neither of which are usually explored in other Sherlock Holmes media.

In general, I didn't think the stories in series three were tight enough; there was too much unnecessary drama and too much meandering with not enough focus on strong mysteries. I also didn't like Magnussen, the antagonist of the series, at all, not even in the 'I like to hate him' sense.

Some spoilers for Sherlock series three under the cut. )

Besides BBC's Sherlock, I've also been rewatching my VHS tapes of the 1954-1955 Sherlock Holmes series starring Ronald Howard as Sherlock and Howard Marion Crawford as John Watson. They're good fun, and I quite like Howard's more personable characterisation, as well as his chemistry with Crawford's Watson. You really feel like they're good, long-time friends.

Because so many of the Sherlock Holmes series I first watched were in black and white, I had difficulty trying to switch to Sherlock Holmes series in colour. It doesn't bother me when they're set in the present or future, like BBC's Sherlock or Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, but it does when they're set in the late 1800s, which is why I don't think I've seen a single Jeremy Brett episode all the way through.

My dad and I have also watched a few episodes of Elementary, the modern US version of Sherlock Holmes. It's so disconcerting seeing modern Sherlock, John (Joan), Lestrade, and Mycroft, but looking and acting so differently from the BBC's version. We've been watching the episodes out of order and have only seen three, but Elementary just doesn't feel like a Sherlock show to me. It could easily be one of a hundred other crime shows with a quirky detective, and if I'm going to watch one of those, it would probably be Columbo.

My last bit of Sherlock news is that my dad and I are going to see the play Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure performed this Sunday at a local theatre. We used to go to plays, musicals, or concerts somewhat regularly, but haven't been in a long time, so I'm especially looking forward to it.
argurotoxos: a scene from System Shock 2 with a ghost crewmember (System Shock 2 | by plant_boy)
My mom came down with a very bad stomach virus over the weekend. I got it yesterday, with vomiting, diarrhea, and chills. I'm feeling a little better today, but have been eating nothing but jello, broth, and Gatorade. (It's hard to get enough calories to do much of use on that diet!) I also called out from work tomorrow for the first time. It's left me feeling restless, but without enough energy to do much -- not even the Christmas presents I'd planned on mailing out today.

Changing topic, I've been sporadically looking for a copy of System Shock 2 for several years. When I first began my search, there were no legitimate downloads; now, you can get System Shock 2 digitally on both GoG and Steam. However, I still prefer to own the physical copy. What made the search more challenging, and more expensive, was I wanted a copy with the original box, and most of the used copies are CD-only.

I happened to be on eBay earlier this month looking for presents for a friend and ran through my saved searches, including System Shock 2, while I was there. There were still a few copies with the full box, all over $60, which was more than I wanted to pay. However, I did see a listing for the CD and the manual for $25. Thinking it over, while I quite like my complete Thief Gold original box, I rarely look at it and it's not something I would pay an extra $30 for, and having the manual was good enough. So, I finally have an official, hard copy of System Shock 2. Of course, the first things I did upon acquiring it were to go over to the System Shock 2 forums to download the mods and fan missions.

The first time I started it up, I played for almost an hour straight, which is rare for me these days. I thought it might be interesting to play System Shock 2 and System Shock side-by-side based on decks, but don't think I'll have the time or energy to carry through. (Vaguely related, I finally got to the Red Forest in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which looked completely different from what I expected. I spent most of the Red Forest sprinting past everything because I was tired of combat. I then lost interest again and haven't played for a month.)

System Shock 2 was the last computer game I had on my wish list. I've had recommendations for the Elder Scrolls series (particularly Morrowind) and a couple other games, but nothing has piqued my interest enough to buy it.

The second early Christmas present I bought myself on eBay was a pair of belly dance bracelets/anklets that look like the ones I got at a local Greek festival earlier this year. I initially ordered one pair of white anklets with silver coins and one pair red with silver coins, but the former turned out to be unavailable. (My belly dance outfit is themed black, white, and silver, but I sometimes like splashes of colour.)

argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Thief - Artemis)
Today I . . .:

-Had breakfast with a friend and co-worker.

-Stopped at work to visit with another friend and co-worker during her lunch.

-Did some shopping, both Christmas and non.

-Cleaned the bathrooms and repainted my finger and toenails while listening to podcasts (Mormon Expression Voices and the newest Mormon Expositor).

-Washed the towels.

-Cooked some pink lemonade cookies, chicken stuffing, and asparagus.

-Ate and read some fanfic.

-Folded the towels and did the dishes.

-I might bellydance or watch something with my dad before bed.

Somewhat more eventful than my usual days off.

Some photos from the past month. )
argurotoxos: a scene from System Shock 2 with a ghost crewmember (System Shock 2 | by plant_boy)
As it turns out, I wrote my eulogy for the wrong vehicle.

It should have been for my dad's truck, a 1981 Ford F-150.

Our mechanic said the problem with my brakes was linked to the anti-lock braking system and fixed with one wire. The fix required disabling the anti-lock brakes, which I've never felt active as long as I've driven it.

My dad's truck, on the other hand, had a leak in the brake system that was deemed not worth fixing, in addition to having a leak in the gas tank that necessitates keeping it only half full. (It still passed state inspection, though!) The truck wasn't driven often, and had higher gas costs, but it could of course transport large items that the the Accords couldn't.

My dad is still keeping the truck for now, but had the plates and insurance taken off and transferred onto our replacement car, a 1997 Accord, that we bought less than two months ago.

It was a novel experience being able to listen to my MP3 player and use air conditioning for the one day I drove my mom's car, but the tradeoff of having none of that but a manual transmission is worth it to me, at least for shorter trips. I find I'm always learning new ways to fine-tune my clutching and driving requires more strategy than the basic stop or go of automatic transmissions, not to mention that my moods are readily apparent in how smooth my clutching is. I also miss using the power of downshifting to slow down in automatics.

I still do not anticipate my car lasting to next year, unless it's semi-retired and only driven occasionally like my dad's truck [our driveway is narrow and such that only one car can be taken in or out at a time, so the car parked last is rarely taken out unless intentionally], but it is so good to have it back again for now.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Loki - upset | by the_last_shadow)
My car finally died. It made it 21 years and about 171,000 miles.

I drove it to and from work today, nothing unusual. My dad took it out to run a quick errand in the afternoon and when he came back he said there was something wrong with the brakes and to take everything out of the car. Even though neither of us feel it's worth it to invest much more money in the car - the air conditioner and radio haven't worked in over a year and the frame is rusted, especially near the rear tires - he's going to bring it to our mechanic tomorrow, if only for curiosity.

We do have a replacement we bought at the end of July specifically to replace my car - a 1997 Accord, almost identical to my mom's - but there are some things that need to be done to it first, including registration, plates, and an oil change.

Even though I stalled the car many, many times while learning to drive, and I had to have it towed at least three times over the past year, I will still miss it. Our of all the cars I've been in, I think the '92 Accord is still one of the most comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. It's been a good companion. I'm surprised it wasn't the clutch or the winter that killed it -- I expected it to last until mid-December, as it was after that when I had problems last year.

I wasn't going to take my car to New Hampshire this coming weekend, but thought my mom would have mine around to drive! My last vacation, with my mom to Maine in June, we took a rental car as hers was flooded shortly before our departure date. My mom's car was in the shop last week for a fan problem. As soon as hers was done, my dad brought his truck in for a state inspection, and it's still currently at the shop.

In the end, though, I should be - and am - grateful to have a car to drive at all.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Midnighter - balloons)
Two posts in one days after a long time of not updating, I know, but I had this drafted before the events of the other post occurred.

Fandom Update in One Minute

-I've put S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on hiatus and am currently playing Deus Ex: Invisible War, which has many issues, but not enough for me to stop.

-I'm almost through watching FenPhoenix's Thief 2X and Thief: Deadly Shadows Let's Plays.

-My most recent library books have been about T. E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia'), Norse mythology, Egyptian mythology, and science fiction in literature and film.

-I'm still reading Thor-based fan ficion and am looking forward to Thor: The Dark World.

-I've been learning belly dance.

-My dad and I finished watching Netflix's streaming episodes of Columbo and have moved on to Through the Wormhole (a science/philosophy show narrated by Morgan Freeman) and various BBC episodes, the most recent being a series on Ancient Greek theatre.


2 June 2013 16:05
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Emilie - side)
My mom and I are leaving for Maine tomorrow. We're taking a rental car as my mom's is still at the repair shop after being caught in a parking lot flood and mine isn't sturdy enough for long-distance road trips. There's a large ball of anxiety and excitement in the pit of my stomach. This is my second time off this year, the first being for my paternal grandmother's funeral. (It's so hard to think that was almost six months ago, and yet I still feel like I haven't processed it.)

I have missed people dearly, and sometimes feel guilty for getting caught up in my own things and not spending enough time as I would like, or reaching out as much as I think I should, with family and friends. Also hard to believe that it's been a year since I temporarily lived with my maternal grandmother.

My schedule is a bit full. My aunt's only free Wednesday and Friday, I'll be seeing Shampoo [for the first time in two years!] Tuesday or Thursday (likely Thursday), and Kun - also for the first time in a year - on Saturday on our way back to New York. I go back to work Sunday.

My library books are eclectic, and I don't anticipate having much time to read besides when I'm not driving or before bed, which is when I normally read. I've three books I'm two-thirds through and hope to finish soon: No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn Brodie (which is fantastic and hard to put down while being straightforward on not believing the divine origins of Joseph's mission), The Tarot : History, Symbolism, and Divination by Robert Place (which started off interesting but I'm rather bored with it now due to lots of repetition), and S.E.X.: the all-you-need-to-know progressive sexuality guide to get you through high school and college by Heather Corinna (useful knowledge and a good refresher, especially as my sexual education was largely abstinence or scare tactic, or - okay - terribly inaccurate fanfic, oriented).

My three new books are After School Nightmare volume 2 by Mizushiro Setona (a manga that talks about gender identity and psychological trauma), Agnosticism: a very short introduction by Robin Le Poidevin, and The computer: a very short introduction by Darrel Ince. The Very Short Introduction series is published by Oxford University Press and is a series of short (usually 100-150 page) books written by scholars or other experts for a general audience. There are a number of topics covered in the series, from specific religions and philosophers, to modern science and health, to literature and cultural movements. Just looking at the list of titles, the series seems very Western-centric, which I suppose isn't unexpected but still a bit of a shame.

One book I don't have yet, but look forward to reading soon, is A Prince of Our Disorder: the Life of T. E. Lawrence by John Mack.
argurotoxos: a scene from System Shock 2 with a ghost crewmember (System Shock 2 | by plant_boy)
After some ambiguity over whether I'd be able to take the time off work, I'll be going with my parents to visit my paternal grandmother in Ohio next week. We're leaving after my shift Sunday. Time off requests are verboten from the second half of November through the first week of January, so I won't be going anywhere again until at least the second week of January.

As usual, I stocked up with books from the library. I imagine I'll do most of my reading in the car or early in the morning. (I thought I'd finished adjusting to my early morning schedule, but have been tired this week and going to bed closer to 5 PM; on my days off, I wake up anywhere between 3 and 8 AM.)

[books - fiction]

-call me by your name by André Aciman

-The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams

-If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho [trans. Anne Carson]

[comics and manga]

-Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen

-John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins by Jamie Delano, John Ridgway, and Alfredo Alcala

-Essential Thor volume 1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, et al.

-Strangers in Paradise volume 1 by Terry Moore

-Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

-20th Century Boys volume 1 by Urasawa Naoki

-The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele
argurotoxos: a scene from System Shock 2 with a ghost crewmember (System Shock 2 | by plant_boy)
My Tumblr user name is nuktotheras [νυκτοθήρας], which is Ancient Greek for 'hunting by night.'

I'm still finding my way around the user interface and am not sure how often I'll be updating it. As of now, my plan is just to reblog and fan over Wildstorm and Thor-related images, plus whatever else I may find. There's really no need to check it out unless you're also interested in those things. Everything substantial (thought I haven't updated with much recently) should remain here, though I may move a few of my more fandom-related activities (such as fanfic recs) over to Tumblr.
argurotoxos: Cillian Murphy as Kitty from Breakfast on Pluto (Breakfast on Pluto)
Hello, everyone. I'm sorry to have been away so long.

I spent most of April and May in Maine with my maternal grandmother after my grandfather was injured. While helping her out, I was also able to spend time with one of my aunts and take a week to visit my best friend. After roughly three months at either hospital or rehabilitation, my grandfather's now back home and is doing remarkably well.

I do have notes from the trip, but am not sure if I'll post them; I haven't even posted from my Arizona visit with my paternal grandmother (who is still with us and currently in Ohio).

For the time being, you can find a small selection of photos behind the cut that summarise some of my Maine and New Hampshire memories.

(One of the reasons I still keep my LiveJournal account is for photohosting. After LJ switched to the new Scrapbook system, my albums were in complete disarray -- I lost all the gallery layouts, photos were in the wrong directory or else arranged backwards, and so on. I salvaged what I could, but deleted the rest; this is why photos may be missing from old entries.)

Photos from Maine and New Hampshire, April-May 2012. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Emilie - violin | by betterthanlegos)
Like last year, I'm making Christmas dinner. My theme, inspired by Thief, is medieval European food.

Some images, detailed menu, and musings. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
For a bit, it looked like we might have a small trick-or-treating turnout - it was cold and started hailing around 4 PM - but it cleared up within half an hour and we got around 25 people total, which is pretty average. I didn't notice any themes to the costumes and was surprised to only see two superhero costumes -- one Superman and one Iron Man. The costumes that stood out for me were two eight-year-old girls dressed liked the band Kiss with makeup, wigs, platform boots and all; a boy in a pinstripe suit and fedora; another boy in all black leather; two girls dressed as an angel and a devil; and a young girl as a cute orange and black witch.

I improvised a little on my costume, but it was based on a design from a facepainting book that I was originally going to use for Halloween in 10th grade, the one year I missed trick-or-treating. (I was in hospital at the time.) Photos and more details down below.

Regarding the diary, it needs to be complete within the next two weeks. I finished working on the diary proper about two weeks ago and am now completing the appendices and introduction. My thoughts vacillate from 'wow, I'm almost done' to 'wow, I still have so much left to do!' The diaries' text is about 180 pages; in comparison, the appendices plus the introduction are about 80 pages. Needless to say, it's what I'll be spending most of my time on until I'm satisfied.

Fandom-wise, besides The Authority, I've finally been remembering to record Batman: The Brave and the Bold every Friday. I also got back into The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in a major way and finished watching all of the first and most of the second season.

My newest series is Семнадцать Мгновений Весны [Semnadtsat' Mgnoveniï Vesny; English: Seventeen Moments of Spring], a miniseries produced by the USSR in 1973. The series is set in the spring of 1945 and is filmed in black and white, interspersed with actual footage shot during the time by Soviet, American, German, and other sources. The main character is a Soviet spy working undercover as Stirlitz, an intelligence officer in the German SS. Stirlitz is an intriguing character and very different from your typical American lead -- he's serious, stoic, thoughtful, and meticulous. Of course, he also must keep his true Russian identity hidden. Ironically, one of the things that makes some of the German officers slightly suspicious of him is that Stirlitz never badmouths the Nazi regime while most of his fellow officers are not so lenient, some even seeing the writing on the wall that Germany is going to lose the war.

More about Seventeen Moments of Spring. )

Halloween 2010 photos. )


argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)

March 2016



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