branquignole: (doctor who: hugging)
 I have decided that my plan for this year (and life in general) is 'do things and be excited about them'. So far, I'm doing quite well.

1. I participated in a Big Bang for the first time ever, which was pretty dang scary but also exciting! I made two fanmixes (my first ever!), and I'm super happy I managed to meet the deadlines without too much panicking or disaster. My fun was dampened a little by my quietly failing out of The Mentalist fandom at the moment, which is a kind of inconvenient thing to do when you're participating in the Mentalist Big Bang, but gosh has the show become tedious. I stopped watching about two weeks ago and unfollowed a lot of The Mentalist tumblrs, and while I feel slightly sad about it (it used to be my favourite tv show! D:), I'm also kind of relieved I can continue failing out of fandom now that the Big Bang is done and over with.

2. I watch both series 2 and series 3 of Doctor Who in January! I HAVE SO MANY SAD FEELINGS ABOUT THE ENDING OF SERIES 2 AND SO MANY AWESOME FEELINGS ABOUT MARTHA. But Rooose. Rose will always be in my heart. Because.

ROSE AND NINE FOREVER. (I don't know okay. I love them much more than I expected to and I still miss them GOD I MISS THEM SO MUCH.)

Okay, sorry, back on track. Martha. Martha omg Martha. She really is kind of crappily treated by the writers, but she is still absolutely fabulous. She's so clever and strong and TRAINING TO BE A DOCTOR. So there. There was so much fabulousness in series 3! I absolutely adored Human Nature/The Family of Blood because it was basically ALL ABOUT MARTHA AND HOW AWESOME SHE IS. So I'm a little sad to see her go, but I'm also looking forward to finally seeing Donna again. DONNA. AMAZING DONNA. 


3. I sat my written Abitur exams in German, English, and History! (Yeah, I know. Priorities. Doctor Who is definitely above this on my List of Important Things in Life.) I wasn't really worried about them a lot in the first place, but I'm still glad they're in the past now, especially since I have a feeling they all went exceedingly well. :D :D :D I have about a month of school left, and I still have to pass my oral exam in biology, but the way things seem to be going, that's going to be a breeze. I CAN'T WAIT TO MOVE OUT AND DO THINGS ABOUT WHICH I WILL BE VERY EXCITED. I applied for a summer job at my dad's company in Paris so I won't laze around all summer waiting for uni to start and hopefully make some money instead. I haven't heard back from them yet but if this works out, it should be absolutely awesome. \o/ Ooh, and speaking of that...

4. I still need to decide when to go to London. It'll probably be some time in April/May, and I yet have to inform my aunt and uncle that I plan to invade their house around then, but if you have any preferences/suggestions/whatever, THIS IS THE TIME TO TELL ME. WHEN SHOULD I COME TO LONDON. I WANT TO MEET ALL OF YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. :D?
branquignole: (Default)
 I swear to God this was supposed to be an absolutely coherent and sophisticated post. But I mean, ya know...

BAM, CUMBERBATCHED. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH ALL MY FEELINGS ABOUT BBC SHERLOCK AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH'S PERFECT FACE. (Which is conspicuously absent from this gif. But the rest of him is pretty fine too, so... Anyway. FACE.)

Right? RIGHT? I don't know either. 

And now for some words. Eh? :D?

A Gay of Shadows, CSI: Baker Street, and lots of gifs. )
branquignole: (scabior)
I read The Hunger Games trilogy back in February, and though I was planning to make a post about it, I just never got around to it. My memories are now vague at best, but I just read The Girl Who Was On Fire (an anthology of essays exploring themes and characters in The Hunger Games) and Battle Royale, which is the August book over at bookdeyada and a dystopian novel with a premise very similar to that of The Hunger Games. Reading both of these spurred my motivation to type up an entry with what I still remember and the new thoughts with which the anthology and Battle Royale have provided me. (: And then, of course, there's the teaser trailer for The Hunger Games just come out, by which I am considerably underwhelmed to be honest, but let's start off with it anyway:

When I was doing a work placement in a bookstore in January, Mockingjay was just bound to come out in German. Everybody was in a flurry about it, and I unpacked boxes upon boxes of Die Tribute von Panem - Gefährliche Liebe (the title is stupid, but the German covers are gorgeous) and decorated Hunger Games themed displays. I had heard of The Hunger Games of course, but that was the first time I actually seriously considered reading the trilogy. I ordered the box set from amazon and since I was ill and didn't really have much else to do, I tore through all three books in just a few days. In retrospect, that might not have been the wisest decision because afterwards, I felt incredibly sick and depressed.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Spoilers for all three books. )

The Girl Who Was On Fire. Spoilers for all three books of THG. )

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. Spoilers. )
branquignole: (Default)
May be triggering to victims of rape/sexual assault.

Back when I was in tenth grade, I had this biology teacher, let's call her Mrs. B, who used to tell a lot of far-fetched yet funny stories. Whenever a question was asked, you could be sure a story would come with the answer. One day when we were talking about Down's Syndrome, someone asked whether women with Down's Syndrome could get pregnant, and Mrs. B said that she knew for a fact it was possible because the daughter of a friend of a friend had Down's Syndrome and born a baby.

That girl used to live with her mother, and every afternoon her mother let her sit on the veranda for a bit, enjoying the sun and being generally happy. They had workers around, and one day, the girl waved at the workers in her general state of happiness which they... "misinterpreted". Long story short, the girl was raped by at least one of the workers and got pregnant.

I was not consciously feminist back then, but this story really really irked me. It was just so wrong because a) Mrs. B made it sound as though that innocent girl initiated the rape (which, uh, just no), and b) she told the story as if it were all a great joke. Needless to say, some people found this oh so hilarious. I turned around to tell the boys in the back row that the girl was raped, and that it was really no laughing matter. They made some disparaging comment, probably about me being a stuck-up bitch or something, and just kept laughing. When I got home that day, I was literally seething. To this day, I wish I had talked back to those boys. To this day, I wish I would have raised my hand and called Mrs. B out on it, told her that rape was no laughing matter, no matter the circumstances.

I think that this was actually one of the first experiences which made me realise the necessity of feminism, and of speaking up. I regret that I did not speak up then, but it's not too late to speak up in hundreds of other cases like this one, and it's actually due to you, f-list, that I am now confident enough to do so, and know how to voice my thoughts. Thank you, awesome feminist friends!

Happy 100th International Women's Day. Celebrate yourself. Celebrate the awesome that are women. :)
branquignole: (Default)

How is it that when I finally work up the motivation to write these entries, I am at my least witty and sophisticated? Duh. Anyway, have the...


Books I Read in February

10. Woyzeck by Georg Büchner
11. Flavia de Luce - Mord im Gurkenbeet (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie) by Alan Bradley
12. Frühlings Erwachen by Frank Wedekind *
13. Knife by R. J. Anderson *
14. Rebel by R. J. Anderson *
15. Arrow by R. J. Anderson
16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
17. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
18. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
19. Love, Ellen - A Mother/Daughter Journey by Betty DeGeneres

Books I liked. )

Books I didn't like. )

The Hunger Games Trilogy is going to get an entry of its own, I think, because I have a lot of conflicted feelings about it, and I don't really know where to fit it in.


Sep. 1st, 2010 08:17 pm
branquignole: (Schmendrick)
I told you in my last entry that I was rereading Die Medlevinger by Kirsten Boie. As some of you may know, I spent four years in France. I didn't have many friends there, and therefore I spent a lot of time in the school library, on my own, trying to find a book there I hadn't read already. Books have always been my friends, but during that time they were my best friends and I cherish all of the things I read in France a lot. Among those things were, for example, The Lord of the Rings, Torture the Artist, Das blaue Mädchen, and Die Medlevinger. Which is of course the reason that prompted me to snatch it from my sister and reread it, to get that fuzzy feeling of meeting an old friend again.

Die Medlevinger is the story of Johannes who lives with his mum Britta. One day, two small people, Nis and Moa, enter his world through a tunnel in the flower-bed in the backyard. Nis and Moa are looking for Nis's dad, who just disappeared shortly before Nis's 13th birthday, a great day for every Medlevinger, the day he comes of age, which Vedur wouldn't have missed at any cost. It turns out that he, along with another Medlevinger, Antak, has been kidnapped by the Cain, the Medlevingers' archenemy, who won't let his prisoners go until the Medlevingers bring him the one from among them that can turn anything into gold - Antak's own son.

I loved the book. It's a children's book, and those are usually pretty intelligent. That's the case with this one; it's witty, fast-paced and full of adorable characters. The most awesome thing is, that although I'd already read it once, I didn't know who the Cain was for a long time. I caught on eventually, but it took the characters a bit longer, and my nerves were close to snapping because HOLY CRAP, it got so suspenseful at the end. It was brilliant how Kirsten Boie had hidden in clues from the very beginning, but so astutely that you didn't notice them at all until you got to the chapter where they were relevant, and then you would be frantically leafing back to the beginning to check whether you'd read those clues correctly.

And there are also some awesome women/girls in there! Johannes' mum, she raised her son on her own, she never finished school because she had him so early and is doing that now and working as a waitress. But she's not stupid and she has a sharp tongue. Then there's Line, Johannes' best friend, who likes to talk about girl stuff with the girls from her class, about pop singers and nail polish. And she likes to show Johannes that he can't just boss her around when he wants to talk to her, but she's there for him when he really needs her. She also thinks like a criminal and would make a brilliant detective. And theeeen there's Moa-Belle who's destined to be a fairy when she's older and not at all thrilled by the prospect. (All the purring and floating about and being generally embarassing... nah.) She's really brave and snarky at times and vulnerable and cute.

Best of all - the girls are not Mary Sues, and the boys are just as awesome. Nis, who's easily scared but horribly curious and always jumping to conclusions, Thomas, Line's dad and Johannes' father figure, and of course Johannes himself, who can be an incredibly annoying teenager at times, but is usually pretty sensible, determined and intelligent. And I almost forgot to mention Thoril, who's willing to sacrifice himself for the others, and who's just so clever. Oh, I just love them all.

I also love Glee now, for that matter! I was bored today and clicked through my folders to see if there was anything unwatched in there, and then I stumbled across the Glee Pilot. I have no idea how that even got onto my computer, but since there wasn't anything else, I decided to watch it. And then I fell in love. <3 Will have to hunt the rest of the series down on the internet. In other musical news, I sang I Dreamed a Dream in singing lesson today. It was my second try; the first was one and a half years ago and didn't go over very well, and I realised that I'd gotten much better. It really wasn't perfect, but that was to be expected, especially since my tonsillitis is not completely gone. But the faith in my voice is growing, and I'm starting to get more and more self-confident! Still don't know what to think of my new singing teacher though, but we'll see!
branquignole: (Books)
I've been wanting to blog for aaaaages, but I've been such a sleepyhead this past week. I got ill around Saturday-ish but it was just a throatache and that wasn't so bad. On Monday, I felt rather the worse for wear and slept the whole afternoon, and although my throat was better, a cold hit me right on. And then my throat got worse again and I had a temperature on Wednesday - the doctor confirmed on Thursday that I had a tonsillitis. You cannot imagine my delight. I had one about half a year ago, and it was pretty nasty. I'm feeling much better now, but I'm scared that I'm going to get tonsillitis again and again and that they'll have to take out my tonsils, and I'm fucking scared of this. Anyway, let's hope it doesn't get to that. :)

I also have some positive stuff to tell you! I got my new glasses and they're soo pretty! I was effing lucky, too - I'd wanted the blue ones, but they didn't have them here in G. anymore. We asked them to order them and they promised they would. They called on Tuesday and we went to get the glasses, and the nice lady (I love her so much I could go to that oculist every day just to talk to her!) told me that when she had tried to order them they hadn't been available anymore. Fortunately, she found out by asking around that they still had exactly one pair of those glasses in D. God, I was so relieved. (Can you imagine what it is like to have your absolute favourite glasses torn from you at the last moment? Pretty tragic, right?) I also have sunglasses, and they're greeeen! EEEEE! (The spectacle lenses too! I mean, how awesome is that? Whenever I put them on, the world is all green and I feel so wicked!) I haven't really worn my new glasses yet, since I'm ill and I want to wear my comfy familiar glasses, but I love them nonetheless!

So, what else has been going on? I read my 45th book this year. I'm really proud of myself. It was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Frankly, I just can't get enough of Mr Holmes and Dr Watson. It was kind of nice to have an assembly of short stories rather than a longer one since it took me only one evening to read one of the adventures in most cases. Sometimes, I thought they were a little too short to really develop the case though. A client called, they told their story, Sherlock Holmes deduced and la! case solved. That was a bit unfortunate at times, but most of the cases were intriguing nonetheless. Oh, and one of them had Irene Adler in them, the awesomesauce lady from the film! LOVE. This woman. This woman. She beat Sherlock Holmes. She has to be awesome, right?

Now I'm reading Die Medlevinger by Kirsten Boie. It's so adorable! I've already read it once and when I saw my little sister reading it recently, I decided to borrow it from her. Good decision, that. :) Ah, and do you remember me reviewing Don Carlos? I read it during the holidays so I wouldn't have to do that when school had started again, and then my teacher said that we had to make a reading protocol. It was all I could do not to strangle her. I typed all of the information (act, scene, page, line, people on stage, location) up on my computer - effing lot of work that, but I only had to do the summaries while rereading which made it a lot less like annoying work and more like a fun reread! Because yes, it was actually fun. I hadn't grasped everything during my first read because the whole plot is rather complex, but I understood everything the second time round and I just fell in love. Head over heels. Schiller has written such a brilliant play, and I absolutely want to read more by him. I can't wait until we start discussing Don Carlos on Monday.

À propos school - a friend e-mailed me that the lists with the dates for our class tests have been posted on the notice board, and who's of course not at school to copy them, but ill at home? Yeah right, me. The one who's always waiting for them with unholy impatience so that she can finally plan when to go and see musicals. I WANT IT TO BE MONDAY. NOW.

And now I have to put together a more or less coherent report about the American Civil War. So maybe I shouldn't wish for Monday to come too hard.
branquignole: (Cutesy Vampire)
I'm slowly becoming one of those useless "oh look, haven't blogged for two weeks, could do that again... later" bloggers again. The reason for this is not laziness on my part though, the reason is that my computer has probably been hacked. Poor Arnulf is sadly gazing at me with a dark screen and I'm writing from my mum's computer. We'll probably have to reinstall Arnulf, and I hope that we'll get it done today, even with all the back-ups. (The back-ups! Do you know how much there is to back up on my computer? :()

Anyway, the first week of school is past and it even was quite nice. Especially since I didn't have to get up early on any day but Thursday (lessons not taking place and the like). On the first day of school, they tried to put us in a broom closet or something and it turned out that they had written down the wrong room number on the list. Well, thank you very much. We didn't get much homework this week but they're letting us feel that we're all grown-up now by dumping all kinds of reports on us we'll have to do during the year. This week, though, I still had some time to read and I finally picked up Nybbas Träume by Jennifer Benkau; Dark Romance in German! The Nybbas Nicholas is a demon who feeds on human feelings and who has chosen quite an attractive body. The only thing he has to fear are the Clerica, demon hunters, who can only sense him when he leaves his human body though. When he meets Joana, who has lost her fiancé and her baby some years ago, and whose father mysteriously died in some cave when she was a baby herself, both he and Joana get caught up in a conflict between bad and good.

Nybbas TräumeAlright, it was packed with clichés, I admit. But it was rather well written cliché. Bad boy, to be redeemed, falls in love with a girl with strange abilities. What I really liked about this relationship, though, was that there were actually reasons for him (a two-hundred and something year old demon) to fall in love with Joana because she is an actual person with an actual personality. She is of course pretty down because of her losses, but she's not that cute emo girl crying in some corner. I really liked her. She was a strong character with her own traits and not all about Nicholas, the love of her life and so on. I also have to admit that I fell for Nicholas pretty quickly, as is our custom, girls. :) He was snarky and brooding and witty and attractive. And an evil demon. What's not to love?

Strictly speaking, he's a monster. He doesn't have any qualms when it comes to feeding. Human feelings are what he lives on, and therefore he takes them. It's different with Joana once their relationship evolves, and that was convincingly done by the author. Especially since Nicholas tells her at some point that he won't make any exceptions for her friends and wants to know on which ground he'd make them, whether her friends are better people just because they're her friends etc. I loved that conversation because it showed that he's not the sweet little monster who is unfortunately forced to this lifestyle. He says that he doesn't understand morals but from what he says and does, it's pretty clear that he has a rather good grasp on them - he just applies them differently.

I think Nybbas Träume was the first Dark Romance I read. There were of course loads of smut, but it was well written smut and the author knew exactly where to draw the line so it wouldn't be too much. Sometimes, I thought the writing style was not all that polished yet, but all in all it was really good. The only thing I didn't really like was the ending, which was just a little too convenient in my eyes, and I think that this book doesn't really need a sequel. I'm going to read it anyway of course. There are seldom German authors I feel I want to support, and if I find one, like Jennifer Benkau, it makes me very happy.
branquignole: (Classics)
You may or may not know I am eternally devoted to Alan Rickman, and it all started back when he first played Snape. Since then, I have seen a few movies starring him, really good ones, but not nearly enough, and it were mostly the more recent ones. When my mum told me that he plays the Sheriff of Nottingham in her favourite adaptation of Robin Hood (The Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner), I wanted to watch it AT ONCE. Only, she said I couldn't see it until I was sixteen. And when I finally was sixteen, it took me more than a year until I finally watched it. And now I've seen it! And holy crap, I couldn't take it seriously most of the time. :D

In consequence, I started to comment on all kinds of things. When Azeem was first rescued by Robin, I said, "they're going to be friends, aren't they?", and it went on in that way.

JOHN LITTLE: I am a fearsome kind of gnome with a weird curly beard and I am going to clobber you with my staff until you hand over that necklace of yours!
ROBIN: Well, I can't let you do that, you see, for I am really attached to my jewellery!
ME: Just a second and they'll make friends with each other!
JOHN LITTLE: Alright, now do let's be friends!

MONK: I am a very fierce monk! I will bite your leg and put my foot in your mouth to nobly defend my drink!
ME: He's going to join with them, isn't he?
MUM: How do you always know?

Well, to be honest, childhood memories helped a little. We once had a box where we stowed our LEGO in, and the lid was printed with pictures of Robin Hood and his friends. I recall it only vaguely, but I remember the bearded guy and the fat monk. :)

As Always, the Women Made the Movie. )


branquignole: (Default)

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