oloriel: (writing woes)

So I volunteered to produce a hand-out for the Grey Camp at Drachenfest and I love and loathe the job in equal measure. I mean, I get to put in such awesome shit like,

"for young adepts of the Grey Path aged 6-16 (or the equivalent age among your people)"

"Uiriel offers translations into English, French, Latin and Sindarin"

"Wanted: DWARF (M/F) as embassador to the Dwarven colony in Aldradach. Requirements: respectable beard, hard-drinking,"

On the other hand, I despair over the question of how to inclusively address all the different magic-workers and it's literally impossible. Because even "magic-workers" doesn't work with clerics and priests (their power isn't magic! In fact, they probably hate magic! They ~*~work miracles~*~). "Supernatural powers" will get you in a fight with shamans, druids and witches who insist that their powers are perfectly natural. And so on. So all I can do is list the lot and hope I won't forget anyone! [SPOILER: I definitely will, there are so damn many options.] Nobody wants to be an "etc."!

Yeah, I thought presenting this thing as an in-character newsletter was a good idea but now I'm not so sure...
oloriel: (sw - so happy i could shit rainbows)
In accordance with the prophecy and year-long planning, we attended the big Lower Rhenian trade fair last weekend. There, although I may be one of the biggest Luddites of my generation, I was finally convinced of the usefulness of tablets. I know I know, everyone uses them but I just didn't see the point so far. But now I finally acquired one.

Cut for pics, rambling and silliness )
oloriel: (hp - i don't make stupid mistakes)
By the unfathomable algorithm that assigns the ~90 new kids to their teachers and classes, Felix was sorted into Raven class. This naturally amuses me a lot.

The meeting went well. I continue to be positively impressed, even if the teacher speaks a bit too emphatically slow for my tastes. (None of Felix' kindergarten teachers used or use a special "small children and fools" pitch. More's the pity, because one of the old ones had a voice like fingernails on a blackboard, and another spoke like a drill sergeant! So I guess there's worse things than emphatically slow. This teacher has a very warm and pleasant voice, at any rate.)

I also continue to be somewhat sad that the Flixster makes things a lot harder on himself than they need to be. I know that Felix starts to squirm and goof around and act absent-minded because he's embarrassed and anxious about doing something wrong, so he acts like he isn't interested at all, but of course that's exactly the sort of behaviour that leads to strangers thinking that he's a) trying to piss them off or b) on the spectrum (possibly both). But the teacher was a woman of great patience and equally great experience and cracked his shell pretty quickly by first showing him around the classroom and then challenging him to some reading and counting games. Since he likes to excel and feels comfortable about letters and numbers, that went well. (It's when he doesn't feel secure about something that his desire to be the best seriously gets in the way. Ah, that paralysing mixture of ambition and fear of failure, I know it so well!) Embarassing moment: When he made a mistake (not even a proper mistake, it was actually just a misunderstanding), he berated himself rather severely, and I expect the teacher now thinks that he's got that from us, the parents. Which is not true! The only thing he undoubtedly got from us is that dratted inner perfectionist! I keep telling him that it's alright to make mistakes and that mistakes help you to learn! Which the teacher duly told him as well, repeatedly. He acted as if it was a completely new idea. *sigh* Well, perhaps he needed to hear it from somebody else.
(When I suggested piano lessons or some other musical instrument to him, he said "No, I don't want to", and when I asked why, he said "Because I don't know how to do it!" Sweety, that's what lessons are about!)

At any rate, it is now established that Felix will probably start on the material for second grade in most fields. (First and second grade are in mixed classes and the material is adapted to different learning speeds anyway, so this will be very easy to do, logistically.) I had sort of hoped to avoid that because, because let's face it, emotionally Felix is more like only-just-five rather than almost-six, let alone seven like normal second-graders. But the teacher judges that he'd quickly be bored even by the more challenging first-grader material and it'd be unwise to hold him back. She's probably right. But the fact remains that he's already smaller than most kids his age, so when he habitually gets to work with kids who are actually older, it gets even harder to keep up. Physically and in terms of maturity! It's not his intellectual capacities I'm worried about. But at least his teacher is sympathetic - when I apologised for Felix' fidgeting and yawning at the end of the meeting, she just smiled sagely and said "We have to remember that he's still a very young child". Yes! That's something that's so easy to forget because he's so precocious sometimes, even for his doting parents and grandparents, and it was apparently impossible to grasp for the folks at his old kindergarten. So if this teacher can keep it in mind, that's worth a lot.

Next week, the whole class will assemble for the first time, and I'm glad he already knows his way around the room so maybe there'll be less need to play down his anxiety. Of course, I won't know! They'll meet without their parents present! TERRIFYING THOUGHT! My baby! My snowflake!

What went less well is that in the end, because Felix is still a very young child, he scuffled with his even younger brother and thus forgot to take along the notebook the teacher gave him to playfully work on his penmanship. Embarrassing, that. I hope she found it and keeps it until next week's get-together...
oloriel: (summer sea)
Sooo, time to fess up: I wasn't just internetless for a week, I was away from home for two, too! Nobody will be surprised at this point that this year's vacation - the last vacation in which we were independent from the school holidays and their ludicrously raised prices for presumably a long time - took us to Britanny once more. Yes, it was good. No, it was not long enough. A picspam is probably imminent. If I manage to sort through the hundreds of pictures while trying to take care of stupid adult priorities and the garden, that is. Don't hold your breath.

Speaking of school, while we were gone Felix' future teacher called and left a message. True to the school's assurances that each and every student is supported individually, she would like to meet Felix in advance so she and the classroom will be familiar, and also so she can decide which (if any) books to get for him instead of the standard. I am positively impressed.

Speaking of books, while we were gone, my signed copy of Flowers of Luna arrived! Fortunately, the post office held it until I was back. Snail mail was faster than expected. Thank you so much, Jen, your dedication made me blush and it's going to be so much fun to read FoL as a real! physical! book! <3

Speaking of books again, re-reading A Game Of Curule Chairs the Cicero trilogy for the third time. Repetitio obviously placet because I CANNOT STOP. Are we witnessing the beginnings of a new obsession or are we already well past the beginning stage? You decide. Seriously, ALL THE FEELS.

Speaking of obsessions, the gorgeous Vanity Fair shots from The Last Jedi are also instilling me with all the feels. ALL THE FEELS YOU GALS. This one, for instance,

begs two questions, namely,
1) how long until I try to replicate that rebel alliance gambeson, because seriously, it's awesome and
2) does the slash write itself or DOES IT WRITE ITSELF?

Having now proven that I have a long way to go as far as adult priorities go, I think I shall retire to bed. YES, WITH CICERO. I know, I know, desperate stay-at-home moms in their mid-thirties are supposed to fall for Edward the Sparkle Vampire, not dead Roman politicians! (Guest commentary from Jörg: "I know you have a thing for older men but that's a bit excessive, don't you think?") Whatevs!

Night night!
oloriel: (Default)
Soooo I have no internet for a week and the world goes batshit. Again. I'll assume that the batshit didn't happen as a direct consequence of my offlinishness. I'll also assume that enough has been said about the batshit so I don't have to try and sum it up now.

Instead, I'll babble a bit about fannish matters.

Being without internet access, I was afraid that I'd miss the deadline for this month's SWG challenge. Finished the story (without access to my online sources, wah!), and today the internet came back so I managed to post it. Afterwards, I learned that the deadline has been postponed by two weeks (!!!) because so many people found it hard to meet it.
I should be relaxed and content but instead, I'm all fidgety and anxious. I mean, basically there are two options,
A) I got the challenge completely wrong and my response is useless and people will hate me and I'll get kicked out of the SWG (yes, I know it's not that kind of guild! Try to get my amygdala to understand that!). Half my f-list will kick me off theirs because I'm too stupid to belong there.
B) I just happened to be lucky and all is well.
(In all honesty, I chose Galadriel as my protagonist because you can basically throw every prompt at her and it'll work with her story somehow, right?)

I've decided against giving in to my panicked inner critic and rework the whole story because of an anecdote my husband likes to tell about his graduation exams in maths. It was a four-hour exam and he was done after two hours, so like any normal person, he was convinced that he had missed something important. So he triple-checked his responses and, indeed, he found an error pretty early on in his calculation, based on which all the rest of his response was wrong. Relieved, he reworked the whole thing and handed it in.
His grade was OK, albeit not as good as he'd hoped.
Ten years later, you can look into your exam papers, and Jörg was curious.
Next to the erroneous calculations that Jörg had crossed out, the teacher had scrawled "1+" (the best possible grade in Germany). Underneath the corrected calculations, the official grade of "2-" (between B and C) was accompanied by "too bad". Jörg had got it right the first time... and because he hadn't trusted his luck, had thrown away a perfect grade.
(On the other hand, he scored one in Latin because the exam text happened to be something he'd translated with a student he was tutoring a mere week before the exam. I can tell that story now because this was all a long time ago! As illustrated by the fact that he could choose Latin for his language exam. (I hear my old school recently added Chinese to the exam canon. O tempora, o mores. Not that there's anything wrong with Chinese, it just goes to show how the focus has changed!))

So I'm just not gonna touch it at this point and see what happens. It's only fanfic, right?
(Whom am I kidding. It's never "only fanfic". It's always a brainchild that's out in a potentially hostile world!)

- - -

Since it's now getting broadcast on German TV, I could use this chance to rant about everything that annoyed me about the ultimate season of Sherlock, but I'm not sure I should open that can of worms. Or should I? Do any of you want to? For the time being, let me just make fun of myself. There's definitely a LOT of beef to be had with that Sherlock season but the thing that bothers me most? Potential spoiler for Sherlock S4 )
oloriel: (Default)

Article in the newspaper today: Hoverboards not to be used on public streets.

So there we are. We need general regulations concerning the use of hoverboards, and Biff Tannen is president of the United States of America. We're officially living in the 2017 based on the "bad" 1985, aren't we?

[Also, this is officially my first crosspost from DW. Yay? Let's see if it works?]
oloriel: (tolkien - iNulindale)

Soooo! Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 not-entirely-live blog. I'll take it that all my gentle readers are familiar with the delightful, over-the-top insanity that's the ESC, but just in case anyone isn't, last year's hosts kindly provided a performance to explain how to produce the perfect winner song, which explains... well, not everything, but a lot:

Peace Peace Love Love (And A Burning Fake Piano)

It is worth noting that all of the things on that stage have been done in past years - yes, including the hamster wheel, the butter-churning, the Russian guy on skates and the Finnish monster rockers - although not all of them have actually won. (Quite a few of them have, though!)

It is also worth nothing that there are actually several winner songs that were not about Love Love Peace Peace, including last year's (and also including Måns' own song "Heroes", which was more about... fighting your inner demons? Something like that, anyway). But on the whole, this is pretty appropriate.

And this is where we apply a cut for length )
oloriel: (love.)
so I'm glad I didn't commit myself to liveblogging about it. (I do hope I'll manage to do the finals on Saturday.)

I did not actually go to bed. But because it was a rather unexciting Semifinal, I couldn't tear my eyes off Robert Harris' Imperium until there was no more book left. It was RIVETING, I tell you, and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequels! Amusingly, the ESC made quite a nice backdrop of noise to it, in spite of the rather non-period quality of the music, although whenever there was a wave of applause, I was kind of confused to see a bunch of Ukrainian prettyboys in smart grey suits rather than a senator in toga candida, but nevermind. Immersion is good, right? Actually, it's been a long time since I got so immersed in any work of professionally published fiction, and I'm not even a fan of political or legal drama! -- Mind you, I may have developed a major fictional/historical crush on Marcus Tullius Cicero. Oh dear. I can only hope that he and Maedhros will get along in my limited headspace.

Maedhros *side-eyes hard*: And who would you be.
Cicero *calmly ordering the folds of his toga*: Your lawyer.
Maedhros: ... right.

Well, I guess that's settled then.

- - -

Also yesterday, I got surprise!flowers! Not from Cicero. Not from the husband, either! Not, in fact - before the tongues start wagging - from any man (living or otherwise). They're gorgeous and I feel rather guilty because I'm so horrible at sending out gifts or even just a damn card on time. I haven't had such a lovely bouquet since my wedding, good grief! THANK YOU SO MUCH! You know who you are. <3 I am in equal measures delighted and ashamed.

We're obviously talking about the big bouquet here. The lil' cuckoo flowers were plucked by Felix at my parents' place.

- - -

While I'm on the topic of TV and fandoms anyway, in accordance with the prophecy air dates we've finished watching the second season of The Last Kingdom, which was also riveting. (I did not end up with a fictional/historical crush on Alfred the Awesome, though, although David Dawson is really doing a fantastic job. I am, alas, less excited about Æthelflæd, who is brilliant in the books. Well, she's young, she might be awesome in future episodes.) Sadly, the costume design is, for the most part, still out of this world (that is to say, completely absurd). But the pacing was excellent. If we could have, we would have binge-watched the whole thing because waiting a whole week was hardly bearable, and I say that as someone who already knows the books! (Naturally, the series deviates from the books quite a bit, but the cornerstones remain.) Even Jörg, who was rather sore about the changes from the books in the first season (he's new to this having his fandom turned into film thing ;)) didn't mind it this time around, although we did miss the warfare-with-bees at Beamfleot. (But to be fair, Sword Song wasn't the strongest book in the series, so merging it with The Lords of the North may have been a very good move.) So now the waiting for the third season begins (assuming that the BBC will produce it in the first place! I very much hope they will!). But at least the latest book in the series is now available in softcover, so that'll keep us going for a bit.

Meanwhile, there's American Gods! Haven't seen anything except for the trailer, but that is looking promising, so I'm seriously considering getting Amazon Prime just for this. Is it worth it? Does anyone know? Argh, I so hope this is gonna be good!
oloriel: (headdesk)

Eruvision Song Contest.

Screw this, I'm going to bed.

*creaky old Maia voice* So this is what they call the Ainulindalë these days ---


May. 5th, 2017 06:30 pm
oloriel: (Og thinks you missed the point)
I just read the MOST STUPID THING on a friend's Tumblr (not written by the friend, just the start of a discussion that the friend reblogged). Granted, I read a LOT OF STUPID THINGS on Tumblr and I produce a lot of stupid things on LJ meself, but this was... special, so here it comes:

It sure is convenient that all these songs that ostensibly weren’t written in English all rhyme when translated into English, isn’t it, Mr. Tolkien?


Gosh. Yes. That sure breaks the suspension of disbelief! It sure is convenient that all these Shakespeare poems that ostensibly weren't written in German all rhyme when translated into German, isn't it? (Or French. Or Spanish. Or probably any language that does full rhymes, I expect?)
oloriel: (subrealism (même goat))

Well, the carriage has been lying in the woods for a long time, but last weekend, it got very new company. And we, once again, didn't notice a thing (aside from Jörg recalling that he heard a strange motor sound at night, but not strange enough to investigate, and then he fell asleep again) until the police appeared in our driveway.

Cut for length and some pics )

So that was an exciting weekend, and now we will sink back into obscurity!
oloriel: (headdesk)

I read the local newspaper, as I may have mentioned before, out of a sense of duty rather than out of real interest. The sense of duty stems from a) having done two internships with them back in the day, and b) feeling obliged to at least skim what's up in the world and in our backwater place. I wouldn't do that online, where I'm a cherry picker and only klick on stuff that looks like it might interest me, but if I have it all spread out on a physical page, I may as well give it a look.

So yeah, I prefer old-fashioned newspapers. They do, however, have their weaknesses, and our local newspaper is particularly guilty of one of them: Early press dates. And then there's the weekend special, which actually gets printed earlier in the week and then has to be delivered come hell or high water.

Or a killing spree/terror attack in Stockholm, which makes the "Why Skandinavians are so happy" weekend special look kinda, I dunno, cynical?

I mean, I understand the technical issues. I understand that Skandinavia-focused travel agencies and books and shops have bought expensive ads in that weekend special so if you don't bring it on the appointed day, you have to give them their money back. I understand that a weekend special takes time to prepare and you can't just ditch one and invent another.
But still. AWKWARD. Why are Skandinavians so happy? IDK DUDE, THEY MIGHT NOT BE SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.
oloriel: (curious)
... or make that "rotaway". A.k.a. this month's pic of the... month post. How my crest has fallen.

Oh well.

Having lived in this house for ten years now (and it actually is ten years this May, time flies!), one should think that we know everything about it and its surroundings. But we don't. We discover something new whenever we start something new. And even when we're walking in places we already know... there might be a surprise.

Cut for length and pictures - only six this time, but still )

The pics still look rather bleak and wintery, but spring is actually in full swing. Two-digit temperatures by day, no more frost, the sun is shining more often than not, it hasn't rained in two full weeks, the garden's a riot of blossoms and I already have to worry about the bees swarming. So back to work it is!
oloriel: (instead of sheep)
Quick, let's have a stoopid meme, stolen from the f-list. I'm sure I've done this before, but that was years ago, so I can do it again.

Two Things Meme )

WELL WASN'T THAT EXCITING! Now I go back to my sewing. Or possibly to writing? Decisions, decisions...
oloriel: (dead winter reigns)

... man, I go on vacation for a week and the world goes completely mad. I expected some of it (but not this much!) and thus stayed away from the news in my happy little Alpine valley, but coming back and catching up isn't fun either when there's such a clusterfuck to catch up with. Boo.

But the holiday, on the whole, was nice! As nice as travelling by bus (= twice the time) and with a group of senior citizens (I know, I know, one day I will be like them and then I'll so regret my youthful arrogance) can be. Fortunately, aside from the journey and meals, it was more a family vacation with my parents, the mother-in-law and the kids (poor Jörg couldn't get off work and had to stay at home). To be honest, I hadn't particularly cared to go, but my parents so wanted to treat their grandchildren, and since Felix starts school this summer and then won't be able to take part in such a trip outside the school holidays, we went. And it was nice. I didn't get to do any skiing due to the kids, but I got to take some nice walks (and photos). I reanimated the old camera I'd bought in Japan for the purpose. I know my cell phone would have taken higher quality pictures, but getting pics from the cell phone to the computer is a bloody pain and I'm not gonna face it for 30+ pics, no way. So we'll all have to deal with the flaws of ten year old technology, oh woe.

Picspam & rambling under the cut, as always )

Well, wasn't that fun! And now, to paraphrase JD from Srubs, I'm back to a world full of bad presidents, oaths and gonorrhea. URGH.
oloriel: (dead winter reigns)
A pic a day is not feasible for me, but in order to keep posting, I'll try to do a picspam (or at least a single pic to ramble about?) per week. We'll see how that goes!

We've been having snow, on and off, all year (haha). That is, it's been snowing, then it's been staying for a day or two, then it's melted away, then it's been freezing, and then it started to snow again. No big cumulative masses of snow, just enough to delight the kids, powder the landscape and cause a couple of unnecessary accidents on the roads.

Today is another snow day. But as I've already posted several snow picspams in past years, I won't do one (now, anyway). Instead, have some pics of the cold spell that hit us last week. We weren't hit as badly as some other regions - never less than -10°C - but we've had some very pretty frost in the garden. Which is as good an excuse as any to show off my measly attempts at keeping a garden in the first place. ;)

Here be lots of pics )

Things are looking very different today, all underneath a nice cover of snow (like so). But showing you snow wouldn't have allowed me to ramble about the garden so much. So yeah. Now I'll go fetch firewood because while it's warmer than last week, it's still pretty cold...
oloriel: (tolkien - christmas. kind of.)
Yet again, there would have been so much to talk about last month, but the posts didn't happen. But as picspams always seem a good way of remembering stuff and rambling about it, I'll do a holiday picspam! While the holiday season isn't entirely over yet, so this is still relevant! That way, we'll also catch up with the kids? I hope?

(Pics are f-locked, so if you can't see them, that may be why.)

Image-heavy, bla bla, click on preview will lead to full-size view, you know how it works )

Oof! Quite a lot of text for a picspam. I clearly should have done that photo-a-day meme that was going around my f-list in December. At least in a modified photo-a-week kind of way. A resolution for this year, perhaps? I clearly find it easier to talk about RL stuff when I have a pic to show with it. Hm. Must ponder this. But for now, we're done!
oloriel: (Patrick's Rune: Time for Heroism)

Trying to start this off on a positive note because perception shapes reality etc.

So: Happy New Year!

In this fresh new year ahead, let's just try to be kind.
Let's be kind to each other, and let's be kind to ourselves. Especially to ourselves, because we deserve it, and someone has to be. Be kind to yourself. That includes not putting up with bullshit. I don't think we have to be kind to every asshole. Let's absolutely do something against the assholes. But let's be kind to ourselves, and to the people close to us. Let's forgive the little mistakes, because there are far bigger ones to get worked up about, and it's unwise to waste one's energy on the little ones. We need our energy to deal with the big mistakes. Let us, as the old adage goes, be wise enough to know the difference.

Yeah, I guess that's my New Year's prayer.

It's the same old world out there, but it's a shiny new year, and that's got to be worth something.

Other than that, what XKCD says, I guess.
oloriel: (tolkien - defying gravity)

You know, looking back at the past years' memes, they're always kinda depressing in tone and expressing the hope that the new year is going to be better. Then it's followed by another shit year. 2016 certainly was another shit year. I'm starting to loose hope that things are going to get better with a different number, tbh, but what can you do?

So, as usual, the end-of-year meme. A few days early this time because I guess I just can't wait for the year to be over. (I'm jinxing it, aren't I. JUST KIDDING 2016 YOU HAVE TWO DAYS LEFT TO SHOW WHAT A TOTALLY GREAT YEAR YOU ARE.)

Cut for length. )

So that's that. Bye bye 2016, never come back.
oloriel: (for delirium was once delight)

Whether you celebrate a grand religious festival or a small private achievement, with your closest friends and families or with the entire community, quiet and solemn or loud and cheerful - I hope all of you have something to celebrate in these times that often feel grim on a physical and metaphysical level. Celebrate love, life and light and don't give in to the darkness. Happy Holidays!


oloriel: (Default)

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