First, of course, copperbadge's Sing Morning out of Night.
Torchwood, New Who, Sarah Jane Adventures | PG-13 | gen with canon pairings | 31,000 words
A strange deck of Tarot cards, a dying TARDIS, and UNIT's invasion of a coastal Welsh village lead Torchwood to investigate the disappearance of the Doctor, with some help from Sarah Jane and Luke Smith. This is a new incarnation of the Doctor, however, and none of them are prepared for what they find as they unravel the mystery.
A fic like we are used from Sam; well plotted, well thought out and good OC's. Little drama, despite some of the plot. Well worth the read!
Second is And Indeed there Will be Time by kaydeefalls.
Torchwood | R | Jack/Ianto (+ team) | 43,000 words
In 1919, Harriet Derbyshire was killed while investigating the disappearance of Torchwood Four in Dublin. In 2009, UNIT pulls a dying man out of the Irish Sea with a one-word message: Torchwood. Martha joins up with Jack's team in Cardiff to track down the errant branch of the organization – before a time-traveling race of aliens can change the course of history as we know it.
This story has some of the latest New Who canon thrown in, so if you're not familiar with that you'll miss out! This fic contains time travel and is really good at keeping everything connected for the reader, without being too simple. An enjoying read!
Third, a fic by etharei, who is well known in several fandoms for her excellent writing.Guard Them, and Him Within is her entry in the BigBang challenge.
Torchwood | NC-17 | Jack/Ianto | 38,000 words
Ianto Jones finds himself far from home. But there are guns, aliens, and more Strange Happenings than one can shake a stick at, so sometimes it’s like he hasn’t left. Of stories within stories, and the adventures of small characters.
If that summary hasn't got you salivating yet, the turning of clichés into plottwists and the handling of the OC's, alien and human alike like only she can should have you running over!
The fourth story is one I just finished reading, written by aeshna_uk, And Seven for a Secret.
Torchwood | R | gen | 58,000 words
If you are reading this then I am dead, and with my death dies a promise I made a long, long time ago... When Ben Haldane is left a cryptic note in his grandfather's will, it leads him to a story far stranger than he could ever have imagined.
This is a story that gives information on the Jack Harkness that was with Torchwood during WW2, when this story is set. Told through the eyes of a soldier, this is a compelling, adventurous and melancholy tale. It combines several of my favourite things, namely Jack, WW2 stories and really good OC's.
The fifth and last story is certainly not the least: The Perhelion Variations by valderys.
Torchwood | R | Ianto/Jack, Ianto/John | 28,000 words
After Tosh and Owen's deaths, Jack finally thinks that the team is beginning to recover, but he might be speaking too soon. Meanwhile, in the future, Ianto has discovered why the twenty first century is when it all changes...
I can't say too much, because that would give the plot away, but this is another one of those stories that turn a cliché upside down. The pacing is excellent and the characterisation was spot on.
Now off with you to read and leave feedback, because they all deserve it!
More book news, Sarah Rees Brennan's (also known als Mistful to the HPers) book, The Demon's Lexicon, is available here for the idiotic low price of ten euro's. I ordered it and read it in one evening. About three and a half hours for 328 pages, a new record for me. I liked the premise, the idea behind it and the eventual climax, but I found it very hard to get lost in it.
Possibly this is because of the main character, Nick. He tells the story, but stresses that he doesn't feel very much in the way of love, sadness or fear. He does feel anger, but only in the need to kill something. This made it very hard for me to identify with him and the events that surround him. I'd rather seen everything trough Alan (Nick's brother) or just different viewpoints. I am going to read the next installment, because that one is told from the POV of the love interest of both brothers.
As I am not someone to order only one thing at a time, I also ordered the DVD of Velvet Goldmine. I've heard a lot about this film and I liked it. The setting is not something I'm familiar with, being born in 1983 and having parents born in 1950 and 1959. The whole 'boys in makeup' was very pretty, especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers works the androgynous look. The story itself was not very gripping, but Christian Bale did a good job acting wise. The music in the film was not stellar, but some of the individual tracks are well worth listening too. My favourites at the moment are 'The ballad of Maxwell Demon' and 'Ladytron'.
The last book I ordered was Neil Gaiman's Interworld, which is normal Neil Gaiman in a sci-fi setting. Very good up until now, I stopped reading because I want to read it in the train tomorrow. Otherwise I would have finished it tonight and I enjoy it too much.
( Lastly, some thoughts on chan, years late, with TMI )
1. First thing you wash in the shower?
My hair, the rest while the shampoo is washing out.
2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
Green, as it is the only one I own.
3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
4. Do you plan outfits?
Almost always, especially if I'm going somewhere. I lie in bed thinking them up. I have a lot of clothes, so it is necessary, otherwise I would spend an hour in front of the mirror.
5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
Tired with sore feet, on the edge of cranky.
6. Whats the closest thing to you that's red?
The shirt my boyfriend's wearing.
7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
I never remember dreams, only the feeling bad ones leave behind. I can be really out of sorts after waking up from a bad one, I'll be shaky the rest of the day.
8. Did you meet anybody new today?
Lots of people, I worked in my mom's chemist store today. 200 customers, so lots of new people!
9. What are you craving right now?
10. Do you floss?
No, I have very good teeth, brushing is enough.
11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
Cabbage stamps. (Yes, I'm reading <i>Going Postal</i>
12. Are you emotional?
I do not show (bad) emotions easily, though I do have a bit of a temper and I am easily hurt by people I love.
13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
I'm not sure.
14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
Lick it, the boyfriend always looks so pained when I bite...
15. Do you like your hair?
I love my hair, it is one of my best features and I am very proud of it.
16. Do you like yourself?
When I'm not making a fool of myself, sure.
17. Would you go out to eat with George W.Bush?
18. What are you listening to right now?
Dutch version of <i>Have I got news for you</i>.
19. Are your parents strict?
No, they only forbade something when it was really necessary, for the rest I was free to do what I liked.
20. Would you go sky diving?
Sure, that's cool!
21. Do you like cottage cheese?
I have never eaten it.
22. Have you ever met a celebrity?
Both Alan Lee and John Howe signed my copy of 'The Hobbit', so that'll be a yes.
23. Do you rent movies often?
I used to, but since moving in together we don't anymore. We go to the cinema or buy them.
24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
My T-shirt and all my jewelry.
25. How many countries have you visited?
Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switserland, Italy, France, and the country that Prague is in. *Counts* that'll be eleven then.
26. Have you made a prank phone call?
27. Ever been on a train?
Uhm, yes? Twice a day, every day? Is this special or something?
28. Brown or white eggs?
Baked or cooked, you can't eat the shell anyway.
29.Do you have a cell-phone?
Yup, never use the damn thing.
30. Do you use chap stick?
Lip gloss or cacaobutter.
31. Do you own a gun?
Ah, American questions! This explains the train one. No, I don't own a gun, it's illegal here and I abhor the idea of them in the forst place.
32. Can you use chop sticks?
Yes, though not for long periods of time.
33. Who are you going to be with tonight?
My boyfriend, probably in the biblical way.
34. Are you too forgiving?
I don't think so, I find it very hard to forgive slights against myself or my loved ones. I can hold a grudge very well.
35. Ever been in love?
Twice, the second time has lasted for eight years up until now. The first time I was ten and it lasted for three months.
36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow?
Celebrating her boyfriends birthday.
37. Ever have cream puffs?
What are those?
38. Last time you cried?
When I fell down a flight of stairs and hit my head.
39. What was the last question you asked?
"Would you get me a glass of apple juice?"
40. Favorite time of the year?
Winter, I can wear my petticoat and the long skirts.
41. Do you have any tattoos?
42. Are you sarcastic?
Being sarcastic is mandatory in our family. We are raised on sarcasm and pithy answers.
43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?
44. Ever walked into a wall?
Possibly. Fell into one a few weeks ago.
45. Favorite color?
46. Have you ever slapped someone?
47. Is your hair curly?
Very, but it's all fake. Really pretty though!
48. What was the last CD you bought?
The soundtrack of 'Wanted'.
49. Do looks matter?
Yes, but I find people beautiful in a lot of different ways. The most beautiful ones for me are the ones who dare to dress outside of the box. They usually have an interesting personality too.
51. Is your phone bill sky high?
Not at all, I never call anyone.
52. Do you like your life right now?
I love it. I've got everything I want at this moment in time.
53. Do you sleep with the T.V. on?
I can't sleep with noise. No music, no tv, no people talking. I can sleep through all that, it just needs to be quiet when I want to fall asleep.
54. Can you handle the truth?
Yes. I always want to hear it and I endeavor to always tell it.
55. Do you have good vision?
Not at all. Without my glasses I can see no more than an inch in front of me.
56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people?
Yes. It takes a lot for me to actively dislike or hate someone, I'm ususally indifferent to people. When you hurt me or someone I love I'll probably dislike you. I also dislike people who are unable or unwilling to stand up for themselves or who are unwilling to look critically at stuff.
57. How often do you talk on the phone?
Three times is the charm: almost never.
58. The last person you held hands with?
59. What are you wearing?
White skirt, blue and white tee, undies, wristwatch and four rings.
60.What is your favorite animal?
I have three cats, what do you think?
61. Where was your default icon picture taken?
Not a picture, it's a pun on the Beatles song 'All you need is love' and the wank that fandom has every few years over the need for lots and lots of lube.
62. Can you hula hoop?
yep, though I haven't done so in years.
63. Do you have a job?
I quit my real job in April, but I've got a (barely) paid internship.
64. What was the most recent thing you bought?
Whipped cream, after wanting to make trifles and making the wrong kind of custard. I had to start over D: .
65. Have you ever crawled through a window?
Not all the way through, just on the first floor to clean the outside.
This article on the new law in Maine, had a very interesting paragraph:
In New Hampshire, the House voted 178-167 in favor of the legislation Wednesday after the Senate approved an amended version of the House's original bill last week. The amended version distinguishes between civil and religious marriage. It allows each religion to decide whether to acknowledge same-sex marriage, but extends the option of civil marriage to any two individuals.
This distinction is what is needed in all the laws concerning marriage and it needs to be pointed out to all those religious fanatics out there. Civil marriage is not the same as religious marriage. It's that easy, people!
So, president Obama listed the Netherlands as a tax paradise. For big enterprises, maybe, but the little man or woman? Pays a helluvalot of tax. My intership pay is €450,- of which I see about €290,- after taxes. Still, the Netherlands is a wonderful country to live in, as Russel Shorto shows in his article Going Dutch on the NYT website. He lauds the Dutch social welfare system and explains it very well. The only complaint he has about the Dutch is that our stores are not open 24/7 and that it is not likely to change, which we should do to become a truly multiethnic society. Then again, he lauds the distinction the Dutch have between work and free time. No work e-mails on the weekend, just like the stores are closed on Sundays and in the evening. Café's, theatres and musea are often open on Sundays, so his complaint of not being able to do anything on Sundays is rather unfounded.
(By the way, the supermarket in my small town (pop.20.000) is open seven days a week, 8.00 -20.00 and 10.00-17.00 on Sunday)
The cultural tendency not to stand out, which he notices, is not entirely true. We are an ambitious people, especially the younger generations. We just tend to be quieter about it.
America is the land of the free. But I think we are freer.
I believe this to be true. We are free in different ways. We have the freedom of speech, of equal rights under the law, of being healthy, of having an education as high as we want it. These freedoms come from the social welfare state, which pays me money so I can go to university for four years or for longer if I want to loan money from them. When I'm 70 I'll have a pension worth 70% of my average salary over the year's I've worked. When I hurt, I can go to the doctor without having to pay huge bills. Being in hospital, for whatever reason, is covered. I'm 21 and I have a house, a car, a job, an education and a partner of my choice. Life in the Netherlands is not bad at all.
Slash and teh magick testicles of perspicacity
Almost everything he talks about is wrong, but what really gets my hackles up is the way he puts women down. If he cannot understand us, we must be wrong. It's all still about the good old het vanilla sex. The gay sex is unrealistic, because how could women know how to have gay sex? Nevermind all the gay porn sites on the internet, the how-to guides (read those and get sophisticated!) and the communities for slash writers and/or gay men. Fucking without lube is not possible! If anyone wanted to fuck him they'd need a whole gallon of the stuff. I'm going to stop here, before I burst into flames.
If you really want to know about slash and the research done on it, read some yourself or check the comments in the article, which cite several good books on the subject.
The point is that I somehow assume that everyone is as comfortable as my peers and I are about gays and their rights. I understand the anger everyone has towards the NOMmers and their 2M4M (those abbreviations still make me giggle), but their message perplexes me. "The consequences of gay marriage", which are those, exactly? Teaching about gayness at schools: they are teaching about apartheid, aren't they? It is still a struggle to get the same rights as everyone else! And not giving those rights is still discrimination.
Here in the Netherlands we have had gay marriage since 1-04-2001. We've had legalised abortion and euthanasia even earlier. We're still alive. We've got a pretty good country, if I do say so myself. We've got healthcare, good schools, universities which everyone, rich or poor, can attend without being in debt for their whole lives. I think we can eventually grow into a country where the basis is love and tolerance for everyone by everyone.
Lily Allen's latest, 'Fuck You', illustrates my thoughts perfectly. Deceptively sweet, but with a strong message.
So, fandom isn't the world, but the ideas of fandom should be the ideas of the world (without the wank, if possible ;-)
( Pictures after the cut )
Damn, I need a QaF icon...
As for fandom, I'm hopping like crazy. Torchwood is still interesting, HP has been abandoned and Queer as Folk is the newest. I'm watching the Brian/Justin storyline on Youtube and I'm transfixed. The stories are good, Gale Harold is doing a fantastic job as Brian. Of course, he is also incredibly handsome to look at, which doesn't hurt. Randy Harrison is adorable, and you can see he is more used to the stage. He has the big handgestures when he is playing upset or angry. His cheekbones are to die for and I can't believe how young he still looks. He's ten years my senior and looks like he's my age. The blond hair helps.
Downside of finding a fandom is that most fic is old and there is rarely something new posted. Finding the good fic is still a challenge, though xhaleslowly's work is beyond excellent.
I'll type up a review of Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors sometime this month. I liked it overall and I have some comments on some of the stories and poems. Those last I didn't like very much, but that is because I dislike poetry anyway.
This is a books post, one of the posts I would like to make more of. I read a lot; four to five books a week, some of which I've read several times, others who are new. Let's start at the end of November, when I bought several books with my birthday money.
( Spoilers ahead for books by Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffeneger and Phillipa Gregory. Also talking about Pratchett. )
On Prop. 8 and all the other propositions banning equal rights I call bullshit. Yes, the votes were close and in ten or twenty years everyone will be equal. Do you realise most countries in Europe has had gay marriage and abortion legalised years ago? In the Netherlands it has been over a decade since gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia have been legalised. We fought for it and we got it. It was not easy, but the best things never are.
I support the people protesting against the ban on gay marriage, and I cheer them on for daring to hold the churches and religions who sponsored Yes on 8 responsible. Religion and law should be seperate in every way. The news of protesters being assaulted by the police sickens me, and what enrages me is this comment, made in a LA Times article :
Loder said he had not given money to the Yes-on-8 campaign because finances are tight raising five daughters, but he did put a sign in his frontyard. It was vandalized, he said.
"As a member of the LDS church we have known [and still do] the feeling of being ridiculed and mistreated because of our faith," he said.
If you are familiar with the feeling of being ridiculed and mistreated because of something you chose to do, then why are you doing the same to others who have no choice in their sexual orientation? GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND STOP BEING STUPID!
This is where my intense dislike of religion in any shape or form comes from: it gives people an excuse not to think for themselves. They do slavishly what they are told by their interpreter of the holy book/scroll/stone and never dare question them, for fear of doubting their reason of existence. I need no reason for existence, life after death or judge of my behavior: I was born, I will die, and the only way I will live on is through teaching the young tolerance and equality and above all to think for themselves and be critical of what people, myself included, tell them. I am the only judge of my actions, because I think before I act, and it is my choice how I act.
America, you are the biggest country in the world, and in your own eyes the best country in the world. Change can happen in America: your President-Elect said so, and you will have to remind him to keep is word. Equality for all; women that have the right to decide what happens to their body; women who earn the same as men; marry who you will in what way you will; believe what you will: but never, ever force your own beliefs onto others. Debate with them to try and make them see your side of the argument, and let them do the same. Respect isn't ignoring the other: it is treating them like you would like to be treated.
All rights are worth fighting for, and the right to make your own choices unhindered by anyone is the most important one.
Your result for The Famous (and Not So Famous) Art Quiz...
Art History Major
Art History Major: You scored 100% Artiste!
You've studied art for years, and therefore you recognized almost if not all the works represented here. Way to go!
Not bad for a Bachelor, soon to be Master, in Art History, is it? Even if I specialised in 16th century Italian architecture...
Remove the orange zest from one orange. Squeeze both oranges and put juice with zest and sugar in a saucepan. Stir over medium fire until sugar has dissolved. Let it come to a boil and boil softly until syrupy. Let cool completely.
Cut strawberries into pieces and puree in the blender. (Optional: strain to remove seeds). Mix with syrup. Put the mixture into a container and place without a lid in the freezer. Stir every half-hour for three hours.
I made this for the first time with kiwi and lemon, as all the strawberries were sold out and kiwi-orange doesn't work. I tried it with melon yesterday, and that turned out fantastic. I replaced the fruit juice with water, as I couldn't think of something that would go with the melon. I think this could be made with almost any fruit, except maybe watermelon, as that would be too wet. Peaches, anyone?
The cream itself isn't all that hard to make. Curdling can be prevented by having the eggs at room temperature before adding a bit of the milk-and-cream mixture.
It takes quite a while to thicken the liquid enough. Make sure that it never boils, it'll go to ruin! The right concistency is hard to judge, but still very liquidy, more cream than custard.
Let the liquid cool completely. This may take more than an hour, maybe even two. Stir every once in a while. It'll thicken considerably!
Here comes the old-fashioned part:
Put the cream in a container. Put it in the freezer without a lid. Stir every thirty minutes for three to four hours. Make sure to scrape the frozen ice-cream of the sides of the container and mix well with the rest. This is to stop it from becoming one huge lump. You really need to do this! It follows that to make it you have to have most of a day free, in total it will take five to seven hours. After the last stir, put the lid on. (leaving the lid off is mostly because it'll be liquid for a while, and getting the lid off could be messy...) The results, however, are OM NOM NOM NOM.
I let the Earl Grey flavour it strongly, which makes the ice the colour of, well, stong tea with milk. This is also what it tastes like, wich caused the bf to call it "A new take on 'iced tea'". I like it, but it's not something you can eat by the bucket. Also, very high on the sugar and cholestrol scales, which doesn't bother me, but might bother some others.
There are three songs from that vid on youtube, Time well spent, Right place, Right time and Under stars. I think the fourth will be up shortly, they were added today.
The lyrics to all are fantastic. From the vid you would expect all love songs, but they have some nice twists built in. My favourite line form Time well spent would be 'I made her leave her mobile phone at home'. They are not cheesy, rather very realistic. Sometimes there are lines which make you pay attention again to the song, which makes for enjoyable listening. Under stars is a ballad, and possibly the song I adore most. The intro is made of awesome, just plucking the stings of the guitar. It feels very fragile, just the guitar and his voice, which is possibly why I like it so much.
Other point that I like of his guitarplaying is that he makes a bit of a rythm by stilling the strings. You can see him doing it with the side of his hand in the vid.
The sound quality on the fist is excellent, the other two are a bit heavy on the bass line of the guitar, but not so it bothers. He has done some mixing, so there are other instruments in the background and he is his own background singer. His voice is not as smooth as we have come to expect form singers, but that gives him quite a bit of charm. It gives a sense of realness to his singing. His accent makes it all the more fun, as does the deepness of his voice. He is a proper tenor, not a falsetto as is so popular at the moment.