NOLITE TE BASTARDES CARBORUNDORUM

Sep 2

There’s this feeling I’ve been getting much too rarely lately, of being my own guardian angel. You know when you make sure to double-check your booking information, to check for disturbances on the bus and train routes, to check the weather forecast, to have a list of all the things you need to pack? And when you get to the station early and you finally sit down on the train, sometimes you think “Nothing has gone wrong because I did all of this. I really took care of myself.” Small things.

Anyway, I’ll be leaving my computer here while I’m visiting my family. I’ve queued a few pictures I never posted before, mainly old things from before I had a Tumblr.


adhemarpo:

He Jiaying, peintre chinois contemporain

(via cauda-pavonis)


Sep 1

Tomorrow I’m going back to the south to see my family for a few days.



Now you know (from Roget’s thesaurus).

Now you know (from Roget’s thesaurus).


I remember that time I was teaching French to a bunch of kids who were around eleven. I had decided to do animals, so I make a list of words in English and in French for a bunch of animals and I decide to put dragons in there because dragons are cool (also it’s the same word in French, so why not). And I go down the list with my kids, and when I get to “dragon,” this one kid looks at me with a sort of pained expression and says “Dragons don’t exist, miss.”

Yeah I think it was one of the best moments of my life.


Aug 31
45/50 films (re)watched in 2014: Bridget Jones’s Diary

45/50 films (re)watched in 2014: Bridget Jones’s Diary


Aug 30
urbanized. it’s on netflix!

Oh, yes, I watched it earlier this year. It’s great! And before that I knew pretty much nothing about urbanism myself so it was an eye-opening experience as well.


if you can find it: muskrat lovely for the sheer “whaaaaat?” factor

Oooh I’d never heard of it before, it does look interesting, thank you!


Favourite documentaries anyone?


stainedglassgardens:

For a few weeks I’d been noticing in the building opposite mine that there was a light that stayed on all night, every night in one particular window. I started thinking that maybe it was someone who couldn’t sleep, like me, and I started looking through the window a lot, hoping to catch a glimpse of the person who lived there, but I never did. Now the light is never on at night any more and I think it was just someone who forgot to turn off the light before they went on holiday somewhere.

Update: no, there is definitely someone in that building who stays up all night. The light is on again at that window and it’s 4.30 in the morning. I wonder who they are and why they can’t sleep.


Bowen is pretty popular at the library I work at, as is everything British, prim, and murder-related. I haven’t read the books yet, but was curious. Thanks for the review!

You’re welcome! And oh, read at least this book, it’s a very nice way to spend a few hours!

(I did get the feeling that the setting was intentionally over-British, if I may say, and that Anglophiles in general would enjoy this more than Brits themselves, so I’m not surprised it’s popular in the US!)


Book review: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
When I started reading this book the comparison with the Phryne Fisher mysteries was obvious to the point that I had to check which series started first (it’s the Phryne Fisher books, by nearly two decades, not that anyone asked), and that’s how I learned that interwar mysteries with lady heroines are A Thing (a cursory search on Goodreads reveals the existence of Daisy Dalrymple and Maisie Dobbs among others).Like Phryne Fisher, Lady Georgiana knows financial hardship as much as the world of the very rich, which is very convenient plot-wise. Like her, she is a spunky-and-resourceful-lady-detective — although very much unlike her, she’s still a virgin. Lady Georgiana, or Georgie, has just enough personality not to make her too stereotypical; her clumsiness, for instance, makes an unusual quality in a detective. Her background as thirty-fourth in line for the crown living in dire financial conditions is also interesting enough in itself (she has tea at Buckingham palace with the queen and then goes off to work behind the counter at Harrods!). Her sidekicks and opponents, unfortunately, are very much your obligatory “colourful” characters, from the working-class big-hearted old man to the mean, snobbish sister-in-law, although Darcy is slightly more original and appealing than the rest of them (some people didn’t like him! I liked him a lot).The plot is well-thought-out, in the sense that you get the feeling that Bowen knew who the culprit was before she revealed it to the reader (which you’d think should be something obvious to do for any crime writer, but sadly isn’t). Some clues are a bit obvious, if you ask me, but I don’t think the whodunit is the main appeal of a book like this, so we’ll let that slip. The first half of the novel, anyway, is spent in establishing the setting and so on. I expect the mystery element features more strongly in the next books of the series, but this one reads as much like a coming-of-age story as it does like a mystery, which is part of the appeal for me.If I had to choose one word to qualify this book I’d probably choose “delightful.” You know the kind. Light, amusing, satisfying and very proper. The kind you can safely recommend to pretty much any grandmother. I’d very much like to lay my hands on the second book of the series.——A word on the audiobook version: while Katherine Kellgren has an agreeable enough voice, I found some of her characterisation choices quite questionable, chiefly for Belinda and Georgie’s grandfather. Of course, a reading of a novel out loud is already and always an interpretation, but I just don’t agree with this one, you know? Oh, and it’s also a pet peeve of mine that people who don’t speak a word of French shouldn’t attempt to recreate French accents, ever — but it’s a very minor point in this story.
My rating: 4/5

Book review: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

When I started reading this book the comparison with the Phryne Fisher mysteries was obvious to the point that I had to check which series started first (it’s the Phryne Fisher books, by nearly two decades, not that anyone asked), and that’s how I learned that interwar mysteries with lady heroines are A Thing (a cursory search on Goodreads reveals the existence of Daisy Dalrymple and Maisie Dobbs among others).

Like Phryne Fisher, Lady Georgiana knows financial hardship as much as the world of the very rich, which is very convenient plot-wise. Like her, she is a spunky-and-resourceful-lady-detective — although very much unlike her, she’s still a virgin. Lady Georgiana, or Georgie, has just enough personality not to make her too stereotypical; her clumsiness, for instance, makes an unusual quality in a detective. Her background as thirty-fourth in line for the crown living in dire financial conditions is also interesting enough in itself (she has tea at Buckingham palace with the queen and then goes off to work behind the counter at Harrods!). Her sidekicks and opponents, unfortunately, are very much your obligatory “colourful” characters, from the working-class big-hearted old man to the mean, snobbish sister-in-law, although Darcy is slightly more original and appealing than the rest of them (some people didn’t like him! I liked him a lot).

The plot is well-thought-out, in the sense that you get the feeling that Bowen knew who the culprit was before she revealed it to the reader (which you’d think should be something obvious to do for any crime writer, but sadly isn’t). Some clues are a bit obvious, if you ask me, but I don’t think the whodunit is the main appeal of a book like this, so we’ll let that slip. The first half of the novel, anyway, is spent in establishing the setting and so on. I expect the mystery element features more strongly in the next books of the series, but this one reads as much like a coming-of-age story as it does like a mystery, which is part of the appeal for me.

If I had to choose one word to qualify this book I’d probably choose “delightful.” You know the kind. Light, amusing, satisfying and very proper. The kind you can safely recommend to pretty much any grandmother. I’d very much like to lay my hands on the second book of the series.

——

A word on the audiobook version: while Katherine Kellgren has an agreeable enough voice, I found some of her characterisation choices quite questionable, chiefly for Belinda and Georgie’s grandfather. Of course, a reading of a novel out loud is already and always an interpretation, but I just don’t agree with this one, you know? Oh, and it’s also a pet peeve of mine that people who don’t speak a word of French shouldn’t attempt to recreate French accents, ever — but it’s a very minor point in this story.

My rating: 4/5


Aug 29
44/50 films watched in 2014: One Hundred and One Dalmatians

44/50 films watched in 2014: One Hundred and One Dalmatians



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