liaku: (ratatouille squee)
Been digging through the Yuletide fics from this year. Since no one's online for me to spam recs at, I figure I'll just make my f-list suffer.

Fandom: Old Spice Guy
Meta Yuletide Fic (The Fic You Wish Your Fic Smelled Like)
Why hello, Yuletide reader. Why don't you sit down for a bit? Get comfortable, because when you click my link you will be reading a work of such magnificence that you won't be able to look away, even if a crew of zombies breaks through your window and bites your neck.

Fandom: A Complete History of the Soviet Union As Told By A Humble Worker Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris
An Incomplete History Of History, As Written For Yuletide, In Five Acts And An Epilogue.
What's the point of it all, when you’re building a wall, and in front of your eyes, it disappears?

Fandom: A Study In Emerald (ie, Sherlock Holmes + Lovecraft, link takes you to a PDF)
Black Shuck
There are things lurking on the moors that man was not meant to know -- but Sherlock Holmes is not most men. (A retelling of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Cthulhu-style.)

Fandom: Discworld
Carrying A Concealed Weapon (and other crimes to commit while being Adora Belle Dearheart)
Adora Belle is arrested, Lady Sybil is there to help, or at least there to make the tea.

Fandom: Princess Bride
Family
When Inigo was four, he loved teddy bears, kittens and swords. When Westley was four, he didn't know what love was.

Fandom: FFX-2
First Impressions
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The Crimson Squad's thoughts as they meet each other for the first time.

Fandom: Slender Man Mythos
Here then at long last is my darkness.
Many different elements of the Slender Man mythos, squished together into some semblance of a logical narrative. (The title is a quote from House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.)

Fandom: Tanz der Vampire
Quartet
Four different sons and four different transformations.

Fandom: Tanz der Vampire
Let the Fire Be Started
Alfred and Sarah post-musical, embarking on their journey to take over the world and arriving at their first stop.
liaku: (mushu pbbbbbt)
For anyone that has played FFT, I finally finished the PSP remake, loved the new translation, and I just need to beat the dead horse: spoilers )

I have MGS:DW, FF7CC, and Dissidia on my to-play list, and I went with Dissidia since I felt like something that didn't make my brain hurt. So, this just in: I suck at Dissidia. Specifically, I suck at caring about difficulty ratings. I'm thinking I shouldn't have started with Warrior of Light's story mode, it having five stars and all. I also just suck with WoL in general. I can't use his damn HP attack. I end up just running around spamming brave attacks until I get an option to hit Square. Which I do, because lord knows I'll never land one on my own. Hopefully I'm better with other characters.

The incessant videogaming is because I don't have an active WoW account to play Cata. Just be glad I don't see fit to update anyone on my FM2011 game.

In other news, I made cookies today. It was a haphazard affair since I was helping out other people, but I had to salvage their recipe (they added about 3 cups of extra flour during the whole rolling out the dough process, which was umm, not good), and they came out good even though my NEEDS MOAR BUTTER GUYZ motion was vetoed. They're basically very orangey, very gingery, very cinnamony madeleines. They were supposed to have the consistency of a sugar cookie, so I'd be a little down about this, but I like madeleines better anyway.

POTC4

Dec. 14th, 2010 10:13 pm
liaku: (Default)
Ian McShane is in it. Therefore, I must see it. It's also based of what I hear is a good book, so that's good, though from the trailer, I worry that it's trying to do too much like POTC3. Doesn't really matter what I think, I guess. It's not like they won't get my money.



As an aside, is it just me, or does Blackbeard's ship shoot fiery tits?

I'm evil.

Dec. 13th, 2010 12:44 pm
liaku: (Default)
The first time I ran this, it said I broke Iraq and I had -1000 points or something, which was LOLtastic, but I ran it again because it only brought up inactive people on my FL. Second time was worse.

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

In August I had a shoot-out with rival gang lords on the 5 near LA (-76 points). In January I committed genocide... Sorry about that, [livejournal.com profile] greenie1980 (-5000 points). Last Wednesday I didn't flush (-1 points). Last Monday I helped [livejournal.com profile] dunkle_feuer hide a body (-173 points). In November [livejournal.com profile] moe_on_fire and I robbed a bank (-50 points).

Overall, I've been naughty (-5300 points). For Christmas I deserve a moldy sandwich!

Sincerely,
liaku

Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:
liaku: (Default)
I am writing a policy paper for politics right now. It is perhaps the crappiest paper I've ever written, including the one where I repeated "The Soviet Union are" over and over in a spectacular display of knowledge fail and grammar fail. ...Okay, probably not that bad. ETA: Definitely not that bad. On my spellchecking reread, it's actually quite coherent.

But seriously. It's supposed to be 3 pages long. How on earth do I write a policy paper only three pages long? It takes me at least one page to go over the policy (my topic of choice: WHERE IS HUNGARY'S ECONOMIC POLICY BECAUSE I DON'T SEE IT, which is a bit of a cop-out case, I admit), which I can reduce, but I still need to discuss and compare the options, and then conclude. I can't believe I'm going over my page limit, but I think I'm going to have to stretch at least to four pages here. Anyway, one more hour to go while I try to be as un-wordy as possible in my conclusion.
liaku: (angel vamp puppet)
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)

Louis and Lestat. Interview With A Vampire, the one Anne Rice book that I loved and made me waste hours of my life reading the rest of her books with the vain hope that she could match this one. Yeah, she doesn't. The Vampire Lestat is fine reading (I didn't like it, but it was good nonetheless), and Queen of the Damned is the last one I can safely recommend, though I feel like it abandons all the personal, emotion-driven storytelling that makes the first two books strong.

Anyway, I thought they were cute, and I like how tragic their relationship was. I don't mean like R&J tragic, though they were all fucked from the start, but more that it shows their romance, if you can even call it that, the furthest thing from romantic. They're vampires. I feel like that's how it's supposed to be. Anyway, I lose a lot of interest in them once Lestat takes up the POV character mantle in later books. I liked him better as an tragic anti-villain than as a well-meaning anti-hero. Louis I still adored now though, character bastardization aside (he's always been dumb as a brick, so it's not all that much of a bastardization, really). He's my favorite whiny little whiner ever. I want to pinch his cheeks.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss

...I dunno man. I've been stuck on this for days (weeks?), and it's getting ridiculous. I'm just not into romance in my books.

But the Kiss of Judas from The Bible (The Holy Bible?) is always a classic and has plenty of historical, social, religious, etc significance. That's enough for me.

Yeah, I'm not feeling inspired. Honorable mention goes to Sansa's imagined kiss from the Hound in A Feast for Crows though.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (chuck group hug)
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

I can't really give you a reason why. Obviously, it's a lovely composition. It wasn't a huge part of my childhood besides for being a constant presence (I don't think I've read the entire collection, though I know I've read most of the poems in there). I really like it though.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book

I'm going with Arthur Conan Doyle's "Study in Scarlet." There's a lovely sense of beginning there, a genuine promise of more to come, whereas I find most stories I read are bogged down by exposition in the early scenes (understandably so!). Alternatively, they just suck.

Starting a book isn't easy. That beginning scene? I don't think I've genuinely liked any. Ever. I've been struggling all day to think of something, and I really haven't yet. The number of books I've not read past page 10 or so is staggering. I don't particularly adore A Study in Scarlet's opener--and I'm iffy about counting it here altogether since it's a short-story--but it's a good, solid scene.

There are a few sequels or later books in a series that I thought had a strong start, but then it's a beginning scene that's not actually the beginning, so I disqualified those (though ASOIAF would've finally get its overdue mention here with Storm of Swords). I also counted out plays and comic books because, well, for some categories, they're on equal footing with books. For this one, the visual aspect, or the insinuation of it for plays, is too large a handicap imo (RED would've won far too easily). Considered comic books and manga as well, disqualified for the same reason, though I don't think they're so strong in this category anyway.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Trailer for Black Swan, his next/latest movie. Psycho-thriller with ballerinas. Can't believe I hadn't found this trailer earlier.



In related news, rumors claim that FOX has asked Aronofsky to direct Wolverine 2. This could possibly be the greatest sequel to a disastrous movie ever. Ever.
liaku: (firefly theme)
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman.

...I'm not sure what else to say. Neil Gaiman requires no introduction. If you haven't checked out this anthology, "Snow, Glass, Apples" is a grim and beautiful spin-off of Snow White. "Nicholas Was..." is the end all be all of 100 word fiction. "We Can Get Them For You Wholesale" is a brilliant story about a man looking to hire an assassin. Honestly, flip to any of the stories. They're all good. I'd have an easier time highlighting the less good ones because they're fewer, but I'm not about to rain on my own parade.

Fragile Things, again by Neil Gaiman, gets an honorable mention for having "A Study in Emerald," which is simply the best crossover fanfic in the world.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry



Don't judge.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett is full of zany fun. It brightens my day and restores my faith in literature's ability to spin a story that's meaningful without being serious. Terry Pratchett does that in general, but in Going Postal he excels.

So there's this guy called Alfred Spangler. He's next up for the noose, and he's kinda chilling in prison now. He robbed a bank--probably several banks, rather definitely several banks, but that's not important. What's important is that he's going to die. And he does.

Now there's this guy called Moist von Lipwig, previously known as Alfred Spangler. There was a funny noose trick or somesuch--the point is that the Patrician of the city has given our dear Moist (that's his real name--no one would make up the name Moist von Lipwig for themselves) a second chance at life. The catch? He's now in charge of revitalizing the post office. Well, the post office is effectively covered in graffiti and buried under pigeon shit, so this is not going to be an easy task.

Obviously, he succeeds. That's not really giving the story away. It's a fantastic time getting there though.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (suikoden yuber)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)



So I'm going as far back into my life as I can, and I can only say that Sun Wukong aka The Monkey King of Journey to the West is still my hero. Backstory in a nuthsell: He was born from stone and became, unsurprisingly enough, king of monkeys. He studied under a buddha until he was effectively expelled from his studies for his (albeit rightful) arrogance, but by then he had a host of shiny powers that Sun Wukong abuses like nothing else. Later, heaven insulted him, so he allied with some demons, decimated an awful lot of the celestial army, and then Gautama Buddha put him in his place. Which was under a mountain. Sun Wukong stayed there for a few hundred years until Guanyin Buddha granted him limited freedom if he would protect Xuanzang on his pilgrimage to India. And that's basically where Journey to the West picks up for reals.

I love Sun Wukong. He's so clever, witty, not afraid of anything, and nothing brings down his spirit. Heaven locks him up in a burning prison for eons, and when they expect to find him dead, he bounces out stronger than ever before. I mean, who needs white knights and disney princesses when you've got this badass?

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I was relatively old when I read this one, admittedly. My friend recommended it to be in when I was 8, and I bought the book but never read it until middle school one day. I was bored and had nothing better to do. Perhaps that's why it spoke to me so much.

So there's this boy named Milo. He's bored, and he's already become an incredible little cynic at his young age. When he gets home one day, he finds a package left for him: a miniature tollbooth and a map. He drives through it and arrives in a world split by the divide between Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, ruled by Azaz the Unabridged and the Mathemagician respectively. They're brothers, but they hate each other, and together banished the Princesses Rhyme and Reason after they declared numbers and letters equally important. Milo's quest requires him to return Rhyme and Reason back home.

The brilliance of Tollbooth is that when Milo returns, he's infused with this abundant energy--he's not bored anymore, and neither is the reader. Comparisons to Alice in Wonderland do the book a injustice. Tollbooth's setting is similarly whimsical, but it's purpose is only to remind the reader, as it does Milo, that there's a big damn world out there, and it is fucking amazing. How Juster manages this with a bizarre fantasy world where the sunrise is performed by an orchestra is beyond me.

Norton Juster is a wordsmith, and that makes an otherwise simple story incredibly enjoyable even now when I inevitably pick the book up for a random re-read. The writing's lively, energetic, and so clever that neither the decades nor cynicism has dampened it any. Give it a shot. You won't be disappointed.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (caution this is sparta)
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times

The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. Accept no substitute. (Except her Circle of Magic quartet, which is basically superior in every way. Not as classic though, but originality is generally considered a virtue, so I suppose that's not even a point in her favor.)

Tamora Pierce writes fantasy, generic medieval magic stuff with knights and etc. The only twist, and it was a twist back when she published her first Tortall books, was that her protagonist was female. This didn't happen much in young adult/children's literature back in the day. The Lioness Quartet is about Alanna, a noble's daughter that masquerades as a boy to become a knight. A classic tale, sure, but it's done right. DISCLAIMER: um, at least my childhood memories claim it's done right, I haven't read it since middle school.

I don't normally care much for girl power, but it was seriously craptastic for me as a kid to read book after book where the story always follows a boy. There are some girls for main characters, but they were either wusses or effectively a boy with a girl's name anyhow. Alanna was a revelation for me. She's strong and smart and obviously female, and that was unheard of for me at the time. I loved Alanna. She was my hero. She's kind and good-hearted without being a doormat, and her drive to achieve her dreams is something I think every girl should admire.

The tragedy is that I don't like Tamora Pierce anymore. Alanna, I adored. The Immortals felt like a Mary-Sue power-trip. Keladry was boring (sorry, but she was). It's rather upsetting, really. If I had any excuse to set Tamora Pierce upon an altar, I would, but as it stands, I can't.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (müller does not approve)
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera was the first and only Kundera book I've read so far. Given the weight and reputation of the name Kundera, I expected a lot better.

It's basically a romance novel with a lot of heady and arrogant introspection and philosophizing, the only point of which is, imo, to indulge the author's ego. Also to indulge the ego of the audiences that believe to understand and find significance in such things. I have no patience for such things. I don't blame the author, really, moreso the audience I'd expect the book to have. It reeks of something people read to feel like they're smarter and better and more intellectual than everyone else. Those faux-academics drive me up the wall. You find them in droves at Columbia.

I'm not a fan of romance as the driving plotline in my novels, but it was done very well, but I have never seen a duller or dumber main couple. However, there are two side characters that also have POV chapters, and those are simply excellent, they come genuinely and highly recommended. Sabina is the genuinely strongest and empowering female character I have ever encountered in fiction. Franz breaks my heart, and the irony of his story is so obviously penned by the great author I expected Kundera to be. I wanted more of both of them.

Anyway, if I weren't stuck on the train for 13 hours, unable to fall asleep, and bored out of my mind, I would never have finished it. It has the slowest start ever, and the character he chooses to open the book up with is about as sympathetic as Navi. Or Rose. That's Zelda and MGS for those without any geek flowing in their veins. It's pretty bad. Luckily, his character development is excellent even though it came far too late. Didn't care for his love interest either, but she's easy to pity and hard to dislike.

I mean, it was okay, ups and downs, you know. I could see why a lot of people would like it. I think it appeals a lot to the masses. That's fine. That's good, actually. Whatever.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (mulan be a man)
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, first of the Gentlemen Bastards series. It'd been hyped by the ASOIAF forums, so I went ahead and bought it on blind faith. That faith paid off, but I wasn't sure it would.

It got off to a bad start--or rather, it got off to a start not really typical for fantasy.The book opened with a leisurely depiction of our heroes (er, our leading men anyway) taking the first step to their big heist--not that that was made clear until a bit further in. This wasn't too much of a problem, though it was slow, but it was also interspersed with flashbacks explaining the background of our protagonist Locke Lamora. Which slowed things down a lot more. At that point, I had no clue who Locke Lamora was, didn't particularly care, and really only wanted to know wtf was going on in the current time.

After I stuck it out, and it did take me a while to slug through the opening scenes, it was awesome. Yeah, no one's going to be talking about it for decades to come, but it's a terribly fun (but not light--the risk is definitely there) adventure carrying out one very epic, very elaborate confidence game while also dealing with the new crimelord in town. What makes Lies so great for me is that unlike movies of the same genre, the sense of danger is pretty damn imminent. Locke screws up. There is no deus ex machina making all his schemes work out perfectly, even though I love him so much I wish there were.

Also, his name is Locke. It's an FF6 reference. That should've sold me from the start.

the rest of the meme )
liaku: (Default)
Day 09 – Best scene ever

Fred and George Weasley leaving Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JKR. It's not that grand of a moment, really. Even within Harry Potter, it's not a moment where good triumphs over evil or anything spectacular like that. And it's certainly not the sort of scene that hurts your brain or hurts your heart or both at the same time. But it's victorious, and that victory is so beautifully sweet.

Honestly, picking just one scene (only one!) was a bitch. In the end, this one's clearly imo the best scene ever (JKR has flashes of genius--I just wish they would come more in chunks than in flashes). Umbridge is my favorite of the characters that JKR wrote, and I adore how she's such a human monstrosity, oozing a non-epic but just as frightening sort of evil. When Fred and George turned their backs on the Hogwarts that she'd crafted, you heart can't help but grow three sizes.

It's rare for characters in a children's fantasy to achieve the ranks of all time badasses, but Fred and George managed it. On the downside, I don't actually like Fred and George, but at that point, it didn't matter. I loved anyone that scored any sort of victory against the terror that is Umbridge. They were cool at the moment it mattered, and that's the most important thing.

Honorable mentions: John Watson meets Sherlock Holmes in "Study in Scarlet" by Arthur Conan Doyle; Tower of Joy in A Game of Thrones by GRRM; Mau burying the dead in Nation by Terry Pratchett. Others too, but those were the only honest challengers.

the rest of the meme )

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