rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
[personal profile] alwaysbeenasmiler asked this question, and I thought it was interesting, so I've stolen it to ask here: who was your first favourite fictional character? Who was the first character you really loved? Is there a story behind that love?

I won't go into too much detail because I've talked about this before, but Squall Leonhart of Final Fantasy VIII was the first character I really connected with. I was an insular, awkward, confused thirteen-year-old, bad at interaction, bad at reading people, and suddenly I found I wasn't alone in any of that; here was a guy who was just like me, only he had a cool gun-sword and fought dinosaurs. I was so excited.

It's a good thing I loved Squall so much, because I was terrible at playing Final Fantasy VIII, and he was the reason I happily persevered with it.

Unsurprisingly, I hate the popular theory that Squall died at the end of Disc 1 and the other three discs were ~just a dream~. It's not interesting; it just makes most of the game feel like a waste of time! Also, Squall is my favourite, so he's alive. Solid reasoning, I think you'll find.

My preferred answer to the question 'why does Squall wake up without a wound after being impaled?' is 'Seifer begs Edea to save him. NOT THAT SEIFER CARES OR ANYTHING. Obviously he just wants Squall to live so they can interrogate him. Obviously. Edea is so amused by this that she heals Squall.'


I'd forgotten how messed up the Second Hand of Time arc in DN Angel is. A young woman is reunited at last with her lost love! Her lost love is a sword that romantically impales her through the chest. DN Angel, you seemed to be a romantic comedy when you started out.

I always resented the fact that the Second Hand of Time arc went 'oh, it's a school play! Satoshi and Daisuke have been cast as the romantic leads! Oh, no, wait: we've set up this classic slashfic premise, but now Daisuke's out of action and Dark has to pretend to be him, so you don't actually get Satoshi and Daisuke acting out romantic scenes together.' But, on this reread, I will concede that Satoshi and Dark trying to get through a romantic scene when they loathe each other is pretty hilarious.

(Speaking of classic slashfic premises: the manga is better than the anime in many ways, but the anime does has an episode where Satoshi and Daisuke are locked in a freezer and have to huddle for warmth.)


It's only just occurred to me that we say dial to mean 'enter a person's number on a telephone' because of the dial on rotary phones. What an odd linguistic fossil.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
I don't know why I've ended up writing such a huge entry on a game none of you have played, but, er, here you go. (The last few paragraphs of the entry still concern Until Dawn but may be of more general interest to people who play videogames.)


I ended up spoiling myself for just about everything in Until Dawn, because I was far too freaked out to keep watching when I didn't know what was going on, and it's amazing how much of a difference it made. Every QTE was terrifying when I was unspoiled; every decision felt like a matter of life or death. Once I'd looked things up, I was absolutely fine; I could just watch and enjoy this story about a group of flawed teenagers in a horrible situation without being constantly on the verge of dissolving into petrified sobs.

In a way, I do regret robbing myself of the opportunity to play the game blind, making my own bad decisions and seeing who survives to the end. On the other hand, even if a first playthrough is probably a powerful experience, I feel it wouldn't be an experience I'd enjoy.

It's really interesting to see the way the game's situation brings out certain qualities in its characters. Mike and Sam are at their absolute best when they and their friends are in mortal peril (even if Mike screws up sometimes). Emily very much looks out for herself, but she's able to stay focused and keep going. Ashley doesn't do well under pressure at all, although, to be fair, she's put in really horrifying situations. You might die! You might not! It's completely up to the person who's weighing your life against something else, and all you can do is wait helplessly!

I think an Animorphs AU for Until Dawn could work really well: it's a similar 'hey, teenagers, here's an awful situation you've suddenly been thrown into, you're going to have to think strategically to not die, good luck!' concept, and I'd love to see how the Until Dawn characters would handle it. Given that there are eight characters involved, though, it'd probably be too ambitious a project for me to attempt.

(Would Mike be the leader? Sam? Maybe Mike's the leader in name and Sam's actually the one who keeps things together.)

I don't think I'll be writing any more Until Dawn fanfiction, although admittedly I thought that after my first Until Dawn fic, and indeed after my second. But I've written 'Mike and Sam are miserable and make out', 'Mike and Sam are miserable and don't make out' and 'Mike wants to make out with everyone (and is miserable)'. Where else can I go? I can't just write endlessly about Mike being miserable, but it's the only thing my heart is interested in.

(I got a review on my Mike/everyone fic that said 'THIS WAS SADDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE. ;A;', which I'm pleased with because it is exactly according to my evil plan. The summary is 'Mike Munroe has a lot of attractive friends, and he'd make out with all of them if he could.' Hey, this'll be silly and fun! NO. NO FUN. MISERY. IT'S UNTIL DAWN.)

If I could write sex, I'd probably write a fic where Mike and Sam are the only ones left alive, they're still trapped on the mountain, and they end up banging unhappily because they're probably going to die anyway and it's the only thing they can think of to do. Alas, it's not in my skillset.


I've been skipping around and watching bits of a lot of different Until Dawn Let's Plays, and not just because I could watch Mike cut his own fingers off all day. I really like watching people slowly warm to Mike. He makes such a bad first impression (the first two things he does are 'participate in a cruel prank' and 'jumpscare you'), and I love the way a lot of players gradually progress from 'who's this arsehole?' to 'actually, I'm really invested in this arsehole's survival.'

Something I found interesting: at one point, when ChristopherOdd was playing as Mike, Jessica called to Mike for help. ChristopherOdd commented on 'the sheer terror in her voice, calling out our name'. When you play as Mike, does Mike's name become your name as well? Referring to playable characters in the first person is common enough; if Nathan Drake falls off a cliff when I'm controlling him, I'll usually say that I fell, rather than that Nate fell. Referring to yourself and the playable character together as 'us' isn't unheard of; you might say, 'Come on, Mike, let's see what's over here' (I'd never say 'we fell off a cliff' in the Uncharted example, though). But thinking of the name of the character you're playing as 'your' name strikes me as unusual.

Then again, if you saw me playing Silent Hill 2 and asked what was happening in it, I feel I might say that I'm looking for my wife. I don't know why names are specifically the point at which I feel a barrier falls between me and the playable character.

Are there any studies on when people refer to playable characters in the first person? Does it happen more with customisable protagonists, with silent protagonists, with protagonists that share the player's gender? Does having more than one playable character in the game affect it? (I feel I don't generally use 'I' in Final Fantasy games, for example, where you can usually control the actions of multiple characters.) Does whether the player likes the protagonist affect it? It's a difficult subject to Google, unfortunately. I don't want to know about first-person videogames; I want to know about people talking about videogames in the first person!
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
Here is an entire entry of rambling about differences between the official Dangan Ronpa translation and the Let's Play fan translation that first brought the game to a Western audience, because you can't stop me.

I'm still not happy about everyone addressing each other by first name in the official release. I am especially not happy about Kiyotaka Ishimaru going by 'Taka', for a couple of reasons. Firstly: I cannot imagine formal, traditional, takes-himself-incredibly-seriously, rule-obsessed Ishimaru ever going in for name-shortening. Secondly: you don't tend to get a nickname like that unless you have friends. Canonically, Ishimaru has never had friends. (Sorry, Ishimaru.)

(There are a couple of other characters who go by nicknames in the official translation - Hagakure is 'Hiro' (from his first name, Yasuhiro) and Asahina is 'Hina' - but I don't mind those nearly so much, because they make perfect sense for the characters.)

The other thing I'm not happy about is this: in the original Let's Play, Naegi says that the only noteworthy thing about himself is that he's a little more optimistic than most people. In the official translation, he says he's a little more gung-ho than other people.

Naegi is not particularly gung-ho, but that's not the issue here. The issue is that Naegi's defining trait is optimism. I can't express how important Naegi's optimism is. It is absolutely essential to the plot of this game. I've always loved how that one minor thing he offers up as his sole notable quality ends up playing a huge, huge role.

Say he's more determined, if you like. That's Naegi's other essential quality: he never gives up. But 'gung-ho' makes no sense at all.

This is a ridiculously excessive amount of agonised flailing over the translation of one line that everyone's probably forgotten about by the end of the game. BUT IT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT LINE IN MY HEART.

(Also slightly heartbroken that Naegi's 'If my conclusions are wrong, please tell me. I won't mind... if they're wrong...' in the Let's Play translation of the second trial is now 'If I'm wrong about this, you're welcome to say so. I'm happy to admit I made a mistake, but...' - obviously the official translation was always going to be slightly different, but the unofficial translation really conveyed how much pain he's in at having to accuse a friend of murder.)

None of this is to say that the official translation is bad! In particular, everything Monobear says is delightful (I'm particularly fond of 'Holy moly! You're super mad! Like, just unreasonably upset!'). And Ishida constantly not-quite-swearing ('I ain't got POOP to say to you!') is a stroke of absolute genius. It does feel more polished than the fan translation overall; I suppose I'm just ridiculously emotionally attached to certain aspects of the first translation I experienced.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
Second episode in a row with no Josh? This is not acceptable, Waterloo Road; pull your socks up. He's in the preview, though, so I am looking forward enthusiastically to next week's episode. (I - I think? Because my thoughts on the preview, apart from 'Josh!!', were 'THIS ALL LOOKS INCREDIBLY DISTRESSING'.)

I didn't think 7.29 was a great episode - it felt a bit fillerish, which is a shame for the penultimate episode of what has generally been an excellent term - but I still enjoyed it, because every time I watch it Waterloo Road sneaks into my brain and snips all the connections to my critical faculties.

Actual thoughts on the episode: WAIT, WHAT, A PUPIL LEFT WATERLOO ROAD AND YET IS STILL IN THE PROGRAMME? This is unheard of! With the exception of Janeece, and that's because she later got a job there. Apparently Waterloo Road doesn't actually exist in some weird dimension where people cease to exist the moment they're no longer a part of the school.

It's almost a shame; I was sort of counting on Kyle ceasing to exist the moment he walked out of the school gates, because he's such a bad influence on Tariq. I was hoping that Tariq would be able to unleash his inner good guy with him gone. But, alas, the writers of Waterloo Road have suddenly remembered that people who leave Waterloo Road are still people; they're just people on the other side of the school gates. In any other programme, I would have gone 'yes, of course Kyle is still a part of Tariq's life, that makes sense'; in Waterloo Road, I go 'what? What? But - but he's not at the school any more. I don't understand. People who've been expelled don't just carry on existing.'

I crowed with laughter when Janeece's password turned out to be 'janeece'. Of course. I was also quite amused (whilst cringing) by the deeply, deeply uncomfortable erectile-dysfunction conversation between Grantly and Tom, particularly when Grantly asked if he could be honest and Tom, his expression quite plainly saying I would rather eat my own leg, barely managed a '...'course.' And, although I probably wasn't supposed to be, I was amused by all of Michael's talk about turning the school around. They were trying to turn the school around all the way back when Jack Rimmer was headmaster! Are you telling me that not one headteacher has managed to turn the school around in the seven series since then? Have they perhaps started to turn it around? Maybe it's now at a ninety-degree angle from its starting position? Or has the school been turned a full three hundred and sixty degrees, therefore finding itself in need of being turned around again? What exactly is Waterloo Road's rate of rotation?

Serious matters: Scout broke my heart a bit. And FINN, YOU IDIOT. YOU ABSOLUTE IDIOT. I'm fond of Finn, and bless him for his behaviour after he realised what an idiot he had been, but when Tariq beat him up I could almost have applauded.

(Tariiiiiq please be a good person I love you. Maybe I should attempt fanfiction in which Tariq keeps an eye on Josh after Josh gets back from hospital, and Finn - of course - assumes that their developing friendship is just an attempt on Tariq's part to piss him off. Mastering Tariq's voice might be tricky, though; his speech is peppered with slang that doesn't come naturally to me. Writing Waterloo Road fanfiction is a continuous struggle against dialects I don't quite know the rules of.)

I sort of love that the point at which I immediately started posting far too much about Waterloo Road was the point at which Tom and Josh hugged. I don't think I've ever had such a specific, pinpointable trigger for MASSIVE EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT before. A fictional father and son hug once, and over the subsequent month I write fourteen entries and fifteen thousand words of fanfiction. It - it was a really good hug.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: jane grins at you, evidently having just come up with a plan lisbon will hate. (let's go)
SO PLEASED. Josh was all over episode 7.22 of Waterloo Road and, from the look of the trailer, he's going to be the central focus of the next episode. I am delighted by this! Waterloo Road has a near-infinite number of characters, and they all drift in and out of focus, and so it's terribly exciting when my favourites take centre stage, particularly as the entire September-November stretch of episodes was about characters who didn't really interest me. Suddenly the writers have remembered that Josh exists!

And Tom referenced the drug incident from series five! I'm glad he did; it would have been ridiculous had he forgotten. Although I notice nobody's pointed out the 'when Josh takes drugs, horrible things happen to pregnant women' connection. Obviously that's the angle to go for if you want to deter Josh, Tom. Although pregnancies go awry so often at Waterloo Road that Josh and Tom might both assume the horrible things are a natural part of pregnancy.

(Tom also, I note, physically dragged Josh to his feet and then shoved him into a toilet cubicle, presumably for [livejournal.com profile] apiphile and [livejournal.com profile] suzie_shooter's benefit.)


Josh, holding a breast implant in each hand and looking terrified: 'This really isn't my area of expertise.'

Bless him.


In news not related to Josh but still (sorry) related to Waterloo Road: Trudi was absolutely right to protest against the new initiative, and I'm frustrated that Michael managed to talk her around. You can't ban slang! I'm guessing this isn't the last we've heard of this, though. Certainly I'll be surprised if the writers of a programme with slang and nonstandard dialects all over the place believe that EVERYONE HAS TO SPEAK CORRECTLY OR ONE DAY THEY'LL WAKE UP TO FIND THEY'VE BEEN UNEXPECTEDLY INITIATED INTO A GANG.


Right, I've stopped talking about Waterloo Road; you can look now. Here is the coolest advert I have seen in a very long time. Also slightly unsettling! It came on during 10 O'Clock Live yesterday, and I was very confused until I realised what it was advertising.

(I still find it absolutely delightful when Brooker and Mitchell snipe at each other. 10 O'Clock Live really doesn't give them enough time for spontaneous interaction, but at least they have more opportunities than they did last year. You guys are my favourites. Be on everything together, up to and including Waterloo Road.)
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Regarding the Livejournal situation:

- I may start crossposting from Dreamwidth in the nearish future, so my Dreamwidth will become more of an actual journal, rather than just an occasionally-imported-to backup.
- If I do start crossposting, you'd be more than welcome to continue commenting on Livejournal, so, really, if you're still on Livejournal, the only change will be the appearance of a crosspost link. I'll probably do this even if Livejournal alter the new release to something I find acceptable, in fact, because it makes things easier for people on DW without any real negative impact on people on LJ.
- I do not intend to delete or stop using this journal, or to disable comments. Even if I make the move to Dreamwidth, I'll still check my flist here as long as people still post.

What this essentially boils down to is 'in the future this journal will be available in two places, no other changes'. My Dreamwidth is also at rionaleonhart; please add me if there's any possibility you'll be moving over there, because I'd hate to lose contact with any of you guys.

If (like me) you're change-averse, or if (also like me) you don't like the way everything hovers in the middle of the screen on the Tropospherical Dreamwidth schemes, some amazing person has created a nice blue Firefox/Chrome skin for the Tropospherical Purple scheme that makes it all blue and white and old-Livejournally and gets rid of the massive margins. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] draegonhawke for the link!

Right, that's quite enough actual information for one post in this journal. FANDOM TIME.


The Mentalist episode 4.06, 'Where in the World Is Carmine O'Brien?':

JANE TEACHES LISBON'S NIECE HOW TO PICK POCKETS

WORST INFLUENCE

I LOVE HIM. It breaks my heart whenever I see him interacting with kids, though. Oh, Jane.

I also love how uncomfortable Annie makes Rigsby. aaaah aaaah this fourteen-year-old girl is asking about whether I have a girlfriend and whether I love my girlfriend and whether my girlfriend is cute and what is the subtext of this conversation what do I do???

I generally like Annie quite a lot! She'd already managed to capture my attention about ten minutes into the episode, in fact. She's so sneaky and manipulative and mischievous and confident; she has the sort of cocky charm that you often see in male characters but rarely in female. I think she should leap from The Mentalist over to Supernatural and become a hunter; she'd love it. Someone create a completely nonsensical Supernatural spinoff in which Jo Harvelle and Annie Lisbon are a hunting duo, please. (I only realised in the process of typing that that that duo would consist of Annabeth and Joanna Beth. Also, I don't think I've ever written a grammatically correct sentence containing three 'that's in a row before.)

I enjoyed the little touch of Lisbon's inability to stop calling her Annabeth, because that's such a family thing. You know how I sometimes mention my brother Joseph here? Nobody else calls him Joseph. He's been Joe everywhere except my head for years.

Tears in my eyes at the Lisbon siblings' conversation at the end. Lisbon! ♥!
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: jane grins at you, evidently having just come up with a plan lisbon will hate. (let's go)
!!!

Dear whoever just anonymously bought me paid time: who are you? You are the best, that's who you are. Thank you so much! ♥!

I'd like to do something in return, but obviously as I don't know who you are I don't know what you'd like. What I've decided to do, therefore, is make a new Entry of Interesting Things (here is the one from last year, where I learnt, amongst other things, that eleven of the twelve men who've walked on the moon were in the Boy Scouts and it's legal to duel in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors). If people contribute, there should be something to interest you, kind anonymous person, and with any luck there should be things to interest everyone else as well.

Therefore!

Tell us something interesting in the comments of this entry. Multiple interesting things are, of course, more than welcome! And then you can read the other comments and learn new things and, assuming you like learning, it will be great.

Some starting facts for you:


- The 'lb' abbreviation for the pound stands for libra, which is Latin for 'scales' (as in the measuring device, hence the name of the astrological sign) and the name of an ancient Roman unit of mass, roughly three quarters of the modern pound.

- The shape of the ampersand (&) derives from that of the word 'et', Latin for 'and' (Wikipedia, that great fount of accuracy, has a visual comparison of ampersands through the ages).

- I don't have the book from which I learnt this with me (The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely), so I'm afraid I can't tell you who actually performed this study, but here it is: if you place a rat in a box with a food-dispensing lever and then introduce a bowl of food, the rat won't just eat from the bowl, even though that takes less effort; at some point it'll go back to press the lever. Animals like to work for their food. This held true for every animal tested except cats, who cannot be bothered with that 'effort' business.

- From Kevin Dutton's Flipnosis: an experiment held by George Bizer at New York's Union College required participants to read mocked-up news reports about two fictitious political candidates, Rick and Chris, on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Half the participants had to choose between the statements 'I support Rick' and 'I oppose Rick', the other half between 'I support Chris' and 'I oppose Chris'. The groups then read a news report criticising their chosen candidate; let's take Chris as the example. The people who said 'I oppose Rick' were less likely to change their stance than the people who said 'I support Chris'. They were more reluctant to change their views purely because of the language in which they had been made to express those views. I think that's really interesting.


Any fields are welcome, from mathematics to linguistics to psychology to history to obscure references in videogames. Directing other people to this entry so we can get a wider pool of knowledge would get a hearty thumbs-up but is absolutely not compulsory. Let education commence!
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
So! Doctor Who.


Thoughts on 'The Almost People'. )


In other news, a moment from Pokémon White I can't believe I previously neglected to mention:

'This is bad! Badbadbadbadbadbadbad! Bad for Team Plasma! Or Plasbad, for short!'

I love this game.
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)
I almost didn't watch Saturday's episode of Doctor Who ('The Doctor's Wife'), because I was feeling so unwell, but I'm glad I did because it was amazing. I love Doctor Who, but it almost felt like an episode from a different, better show. And it focused on my absolute Doctor Who OTP, which was nice.

Also watched the Eurovision Song Contest with [livejournal.com profile] reipan and a group of her friends. Weirdly, I felt quite a lot better by the end of it. Eurovision is the best medicine?

Afterwards, we switched over to live soft-porn phone-in television, as you do, and watched women jiggling their unclad bums in the air. We became quite concerned by the woman on one of the channels; she was rolling around on a bed whilst looking like the most bored person in the world, and we started wondering whether we should call in just so she could have a nice chat.

Riona: We could ask philosophical questions.
Rei: 'What is the meaning of life?' 'Is it really worth it? If you're alone at the end of the day...'
Riona: 'What's your favourite Pokémon?'
Helen: 'I like a Slowpoke.'
Riona: I hate you.

One of our party began reminiscing about SM:TV Live. Lea, who did not grow up with SM:TV and was probably confused by the context, assumed that SM:TV Live was live footage of couples engaging in S&M practices. It gave me terrible mental images of Ant and Dec.


I've also been watching more My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (the title confuses me a bit; 'is' should generally be capitalised in titles, because it's a verb, but when the title is displayed onscreen it clearly doesn't have a capital letter, so I suppose it's correct to write it lowercase for this specific series), and it is a joy of a cartoon. The 'Winter Wrap Up' song brings nostalgic tears to my eyes, which is odd because a week ago I'd never watched anything My Little Pony-related in my life.

Idly trying to sort the ponies into Hogwarts houses. Tentative assignations: Twilight Sparkle is a Ravenclaw. Fluttershy and Applejack are in Hufflepuff, although the latter is borderline Gryffindor. Rarity is a Slytherin. Rainbow Dash could fit into Gryffindor or Slytherin; she's definitely not a Hufflepuff, which is slightly odd because she's meant to represent loyalty. I don't really know what to do with Pinkie Pie; Hufflepuff, maybe?

I'm trying to settle on my favourite pony, but I can't. They're all so wonderful!

In more legitimate nostalgia news, I've now bought Pokémon White! But this entry is getting a bit long, so I'll post about it later. For now, suffice it to say that I'm enjoying it very much and, although rarely do I have a pure Normal-type on my main team, my Herdier is a fantastic scrapper who carried me through the first two gyms and I refuse to give her up.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (...really?)
Channel 4 broadcast a really interesting Derren Brown special on faith healing last night: Derren Brown: Miracles for Sale, in which Derren attempted to illustrate and expose faith healing scams by sending a member of the public undercover into Texas as a 'faith healer'.

I have a lot of respect for Derren Brown, to whom I once sent a ukulele in a fit of madness and who, rather than ignoring me or taking out a restraining order (both of which would have been entirely understandable reactions), sent me an extremely kind letter in return, and that respect was bolstered last night when he chose to protect the reputation of a PR company by deciding not to use it to promote his fake faith healer. (Of course, Derren is a deceiver and a showman, and it's perfectly possible that some of the situations in the film were deliberately engineered for drama, but I can believe that he did think 'on second thoughts, let's not endanger this innocent man's livelihood for our programme.' Whilst Derren Brown generally has quite a sinister image, most evidence seem to point towards his actually being a really nice guy.)

Whilst I'm on the topic, I will say that I was a bit disappointed by Derren's autobiography, Confessions of a Conjuror. I adore his earlier book, Tricks of the Mind, but I suppose his style doesn't really lend itself to narrative. The police aren't going to come after you if you let the occasional noun slip past without an adjective, Derren, I promise.

Derren Brown's Miracles for Sale is currently available on 4oD here. (I don't think it's available outside the UK, I'm afraid.) In case the religious amongst you are wary about watching it: it's not an attack on faith itself, but on people who exploit that faith for profit, sometimes with terrible consequences for the exploited (for example, if they are misled into believing they're healed and so abandon treatments that they in fact need).


In other news (although not the sort of news that most newspapers would bother reporting), I have rewatched Glee episode 2.16, 'Original Song', and I now have a couple of thoughts that aren't just 'omg Kurt and Blaine are the adorablest ♥' (although they are, of course, still the adorablest).

Regarding 'Get It Right': it's a lovely tune, but I think it's a shame that the 'original song' that New Directions use to open Regionals is in fact a great big mass of clichés. I mean, take the first few lines:

What have I done? I wish I could run
Away from this ship going under.
Just trying to help, hurt everyone else;
Now I feel the weight of the world is
On my shoulders
.
What can you do when your good isn't good enough
And all that you touch tumbles down?

These are all incredibly hackneyed images, Rachel! If you're trying to express your own pain, you really should use your own words. Your voice still gives me chills, though, so well done there. (Yes, 'gives me chills' is also a cliché, but I'm not relying on my lyric-writing ability to win a competition, am I?)

It's a particular shame after an episode of songs with lyrics as creative as 'So sick with love I think I'm coming down with rickets.' Oh, Puck.

The Warblers' cover of 'Raise Your Glass' makes me dance ridiculously in my seat. I can't help it. I punch the air and everything. It is a very good thing that I've never listened to it in company.

I find it weirdly hilarious that Darren Criss's voice is frequently layered over itself during the Warblers' performances, giving the impression that there's another Warbler somewhere in there who sounds exactly like Blaine, or possibly that they have an invisible Blaine clone contributing vocals. OH MY GOD, WAIT: or that my fic in which all the Dalton students' thoughts are audible is true. It answers so many questions! ...by which I mean that it answers one question and raises many, many more.

Despite the lyrical issue and the fact that it didn't do as much with the Rachel-Quinn relationship as I was hoping, 'Original Song' is still my favourite Glee episode to date. It is packed with so many delightful things and I love it endlessly. (Did I mention how charmed I am whenever the Warblers and New Directions cheer each other on? Awww.)
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)
Things are a bit stressful at the moment (you know the Mitchell and Webb theory that housemates fall into the categories of 'people who are annoying' and 'people who become annoyed'? I am an annoying housemate; the friend with whom I live is an annoyed housemate, and she is at the moment actively annoyed, and when people are annoyed with me I tend to get very upset and run around trying to cook them meals and buy them chocolates (please do not exploit this knowledge for chocolates)), and so, seeking a distraction, I invite you to share extracts from silly things you wrote in your childhood. (EDIT: Silly things you drew are also very welcome!)

For my part: recently, looking through some of the things I drew and wrote when I was a child, I stumbled across the following poem I'd written about my name:

H is for all of the harvest fruit
A for all the apples on the tree
R is for the redcurrants on the bush
R is rabbits for you and me
I for ice cream
E for eaves
T for Tutancarmoon* the egiptians believed


* lol

I clearly sort of gave up halfway through. Eaves, Little Riona? Eaves? Really? You genuinely couldn't think of another word beginning with 'E'? Tutankhamun was really something you associated strongly with yourself?

There's also a card I've written to my dad. It says, 'Dear Daddy. Happy Birthday! I hope you like your Presents. Love From Reepicheep.'

I had completely forgotten that I used to pretend to be Reepicheep when I was younger. I'd walk up and down the house, pretending that I was on the Dawn Treader and had to keep my balance. (He's a swordfighting mouse; who wouldn't want to be him?) The idea of my dad fathering Reepicheep is a tiny bit alarming, frankly.

Also: 'Daddy has his article that he is reading titled "Becketts Bass ruling proves the fallibility of convential wisdom". It does not seem to make sense at all. Why dosen't he just read the Beano?' I concur, younger self; who needs newspapers when you could be reading comics? Honestly. (Ooh, a search turns up the article in question and therefore allows me to date this particular pearl of wisdom! I would have been just about to turn nine. Bit appalled by the fact that I couldn't spell 'doesn't' at that age, although I'll let 'convential' slide.)

And there are the beginnings of a made-up language! To my amusement, 'fic' meant 'shut up' and, although the language had only thirty-four words, one of them meant 'pretend to be a mouse'. I knew where my linguistic priorities lay.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hope is all we have)
A question to those who've played Final Fantasy XIII: as I don't have a console that can play that game and can't see myself acquiring one in the near future, I'm thinking about watching a playthrough on YouTube. Like a film! A really, really long film. Would this be a really bad idea?

(I typed out that question and then promptly went off and watched the first hour, so possibly it is already too late to be asking. The environments are so gorgeous and the direction so cinematic that I'm actually not getting bored by watching someone else fight. It almost feels as if it should be treated like a film.)

Notes!


– I love watching Lightning move. I don't know why.
– SNOW, WHAT IS THAT STUPID DESIGN ON THE BACK OF YOUR TRENCHCOAT? WHY IS IT ONLY THERE WHEN YOU'RE FIGHTING? IS IT A WOLF? IS IT A BEAR? YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS.
– Snow actually looks sort of like an older Hip Young Seifer of Kingdom Hearts. Sorry to break it to you, Seifer of Final Fantasy VIII, but this guy from another game looks more like your younger self than you do. On the plus side, a large part of the reason he looks more like your younger self is because he has clung to the ridiculous hat that you so wisely ditched.
– Seriously, Snow's clothes annoy me to an irrational degree. Nothing against you yourself, Snow; I was admittedly expecting to dislike you, because your clothes made you look like a prat, but as it turns out you seem to be rather a sweetheart, if blustery. ('If you don't know who you've got to save, you just protect them all, right?' Awww.)
– Vanille has an interesting voice. Is her accent Australian? I can't stop listening to her vowel sounds. (She also behaves quite oddly; it's as if she's not in entirely the same world as everyone else.)
– Speaking of accents: ahahaha, obviously XII introduced the localisation team to the delight of using English accents for villains and they're never going back.
– When Lightning uses a Potion to heal Sazh in battle, he says 'I appreciate it'. Does this response change at different points in the story? 'I appreciate it' is polite but not especially friendly, and this is a battle taking place just after a cutscene in which Sazh was a bit annoyed with her. In any case, I approve of Sazh's politeness. (EDIT: It does change! Later, when he becomes more sympathetic to Lightning's cause, he says 'Much appreciated'. I like that a lot.)
– What with Lightning and Snow, I sort of wish they had named all of the main characters after weather types. It would have been very funny. Four of the main characters have nouns for names, at least, but that's not specific enough. Hope could have been Hail! Vanille could be Drizzle!
– It's all very science-fictiony, isn't it? First Final Fantasy since VIII to have a prominent science-fiction feel, if I recall correctly, although X did have the 'fantasy world grown out of a collapsed science-fiction one' aspect. The inside of the fal'Cie-holding place (the Pulse Vestige?) reminds me a bit of Zanarkand Temple.
– Come to think of it, it's also similar to VIII in the fact that your teammates visibly follow you between battles, although their following motion is slightly more realistic than DIRECTLY BEHIND YOU IN SINGLE FILE. And they say things as you run around! I love it!
– I've heard Final Fantasy XIII criticised for its linearity, but, hey, at least the running-down-corridors means I don't feel I'm missing things! Final Fantasy XIII: the first Final Fantasy game designed specifically to be watched on YouTube.


If anyone else wants to experience Final Fantasy XIII but doesn't have the means to play it themselves, here is the first video in the walkthrough I'm watching. The person recording it hasn't been talking over things, for which I am grateful.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (no more playing around)
Eight months late, I've caught up on the fifth series of Supernatural.

Crowley, you are my favourite. He's a deceitful bastard, but he's paradoxically, delightfully straightforward about it. (He and Derren Brown should hang out.) And he's sardonic and flirtatious and a little bit charming, and I think he may end up being one of those characters I 'ship with basically everyone (ESPECIALLY BOBBY, WHERE IS MY BOBBY/CROWLEY FANFICTION). I love him.

(Although the way Crowley is written confuses me sometimes, because he has an English accent and the writers seem to consciously have him using British language - 'this bloody ring business' - and then he'll use the occasional American turn of phrase. It's a bit jarring, that's all. It doesn't mean I don't want to marry you, Crowley, demon of my heart.)

It's odd; I used to love the Winchester brothers so much, but over the past couple of series I've become much more interested in the recurring supernatural beings of Supernatural. Ruby, Castiel, Crowley: these are the figures that hold my interest. It's not that I dislike Sam and Dean, but I certainly don't adore them any more. It's a little sad, really. I miss loving the Winchesters.

On the plus side, I love how Castiel's character has settled. He was a little inconsistent at first, but now the writers seem to have decided to go with Perpetually Slightly Bewildered Castiel, who is my favourite type of Castiel. He is adorable. Never stop being confused by the world, Castiel!

ALSO ON THE PLUS SIDE, WE HAVE CROWLEY.

I want a series in which Crowley and Ruby drive around and... I don't know. Work towards some goal? Their goals in canon oppose each other, which causes a slight problem. Maybe a series in which Crowley and Ruby are enemies in theory, working towards separate and opposing goals, but they also get along famously. Sometimes they try to kill each other; sometimes they just have sex. Oh, my goodness, this would be the best thing ever. There should be fanfiction.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (so what do you think)
I DON'T KNOW WHY THIS IMAGE IS MAKING ME LAUGH SO HARD. 'I presume you are inquiring as to who this upstanding bloke is' is a very weird juxtaposition - for people unfamiliar with the connotational nuances of British English, 'I presume you are inquiring as to who this upstanding dude is' would probably have a similarly jarring effect - but 'You know the gentlemen are most beguiled by his charming antics and wish to situate themselves inside his trousers for a festive gathering' is possibly the best sentence I've ever read. (I would like to situate myself inside your trousers for a festive gathering, Blaine.)

HERE IS A TERRIBLE MEME IDEA: write out the first lines of songs in the style of Dapper Blaine (exaggeratedly formal, old-fashioned and verbose, basically; I have no idea why this meme exists, but it's one of my favourites, even if reading too many examples ruins my speech for hours afterwards) and have your flist guess to which song each rewrite pertains. Let's give it a try.

1. My gratitude to you, man of the hammer; I believe I would have difficulty expressing the significance of your actions in halting the motion of that delivery vehicle. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] emmarrrrr and [livejournal.com profile] dracothelizard)
2. Of late, I have found respiration impossible. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] kadrin)
3. It is a deity-appalling little circumstance to the young woman with rodentlike tresses. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] honeyfitz)
4. You claim to traverse a region that belongs to you, but on consideration I fail to understand how this can be so. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] lakester)
5. Set forth upon the thoroughfare; would you allow me to borrow your appellation? (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] marginaliana)
6. Fasten your labia oris, infant; fasten similarly your outer garment. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] ms_katonic)
7. On every occasion of your drinking a small amount in this smoke-filled environment, you place the glass container of said drink against your mouth and I yearn to be, presumably, the container, rather than the alcohol within, although the metonymic term I use to express this desire makes this unclear. (guessed by anonymous commenter)
8. Raise the coverings protecting your optical organs; I perceive that said organs are now unsheathed. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] dots)
9. Birthed in the community of a deceased adult male; my initial calcitration was taken upon my making violent contact with the earth. (guessed by [livejournal.com profile] ms_katonic)
10. I wish to achieve the absolute pinnacle of greatness, a feat to date unaccomplished by any person. The true establisher of my skill is capturing them; teaching and improving them is my aim. I shall traverse this region from end to end, extending my search to a great distance and breadth and educating these creatures in the strength held within. POKÉMON, GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL.

Wow, I never realised before how few of the things I listen to actually have lyrics. I had to skip about ten songs for every one I could use. In any case, guess away!


On a note unrelated aside from the shared themes of music and ridiculousness, have you ever wanted to listen to a mashup of 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' and 'Roxanne'? Of course you have. Here, for your listening pleasure: Rudolph (You Don't Have To Put On The Red Light). I love the Internet. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jantalaimon for linking to this on her journal and thus bringing it into my life.)
rionaleonhart: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
Last night, I watched an episode of Only Connect, a gameshow presented by Victoria Coren, in which the players have to work out the connection between the items in a series. One of these series was 'Fighting', 'Grass', 'Dragon', 'Psychic'. I, naturally, got the connection immediately, but the contestants did not ('Are they nicknames for drugs?' one asked), no matter how loudly and repeatedly I tried to inform them.

'And,' Coren said afterwards, addressing the camera, 'if you were shouting "Pokémon, Pokémon, Pokémon" at the screen during that last round, why not visit our website and give the puzzles there a try?'

She knows me so well. Which is odd, as we've never actually spoken.

Then I fell asleep and dreamt, my notes inform me, the following:

I was accompanied by two dogs. one was a poodle and also a prostitute. she was later to double-cross me. not that I think prostitutes are inherently immoral, canine or otherwise, although poodles may well be. they were on fairly short leads, so I could swing them around and use them as a weapon. in retrospect, this may have contributed to the double-crossing.


I love that, in the world of Waterloo Road, the results of mass drugs tests are presented with 'NEGATIVE' or 'POSITIVE' printed directly onto the paper and the names to which they correspond on sticky labels next to the outcome. IT'S ALMOST AS IF THEY'RE DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO MAKE IT EASY FOR UNSCRUPULOUS FATHERS TO SWAP THE NAMES AROUND.

Any other ways you would like to bend reality to make storylines more workable, Waterloo Road? Perhaps an unscrupulous teacher is photographed speeding and frames a student who's just passed her test by peeling off his easily-removable number plate* and transferring it onto her car. Naturally, the police find the culprit by personally looking at the number plates of all the cars in Rochdale, rather than checking any sort of database.

(For all I know, the results of mass drugs tests could come in with the names on easy-to-switch sticky labels, but it strikes me as unlikely.)


* I have literally only just realised that 'number' as in 'unit of quantity' and 'number' as in 'more numb' are homographic. Obviously I knew they were both spelt 'number', but it hadn't really occurred to me that they were both spelt 'number'.

...look, it makes sense in my head.



LAST-MINUTE ENTRY ADDITION: I have spent the past month pestering every publisher in the south of England, asking for work to edit, and one has finally agreed to send me a trial manuscript! YEAH. Employment, here I have a chance of coming! I am really excited! Please let me not screw this up.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (oh hey)
I said in my last entry that Finn of Waterloo Road was dead inside, but of course that's not strictly true, because he craves love. He's been deprived of love in the past, and so he's obsessed with making the people who care about him prove that they love him. If he sets up flaming hoops and you refuse to jump through them for him, he assumes that you're a fraud. If you really love him, why won't you perform a huge, dangerous symbolic gesture? Any failure to do exactly what he wants is a betrayal in his eyes, proof that he was an idiot to think you cared. He is an incredibly tragic character. But, Finn, that's no excuse for being a massive git.

I still want the fic in which Finn and Josh do get into a relationship and it leaves Josh completely broken down and miserable. And then Tom comes to his rescue and SURPRISE, IT WASN'T ACTUALLY ABOUT THE SLASH, THIS IS A FIC ABOUT JOSH'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER. And then they freaking hug.

(I do feel that Josh's storyline in Waterloo Road could eventually come down to a choice between his malinfluential* friendship with Finn and his relationship with his dad. I hope that doesn't happen. I don't want to lose either relationship, but if he chooses Finn over Tom I shall cry until my ankles are damp.)

* I don't think this is technically a word, but I think there's a space in the English language for an adjective meaning 'badly influencing', so let's make it a word.


I've now seen the first episode of the second series, and I just have to say:

'Brian Nolan? Janet Seymour? And Chlo Grainger.'

What sort of register order is that? In my entire educational experience, it's been 'alphabetical order by surname', not 'the most plot-significant name is read out last, damn the alphabet'.

Also, if you show a character apparently committing suicide and then have her show up perfectly well, some part of my mind is going to be convinced that she's a ghost. Waterloo Road, you are a school-based drama that attempts to be at least fairly realistic. You're not Supernatural. (She's a really cute, heartbreaking ghost, though. I hope she doesn't turn into a vengeful spirit. Finn, being a bit of a Dean Winchestery figure in some ways, might be able to handle her, but he doesn't show up for another three series, and I think he'd be around eleven years old at this point in the timeline, which is perhaps a touch too young to be fighting the paranormal.)

Watching the present series of Waterloo Road alongside the early series is quite a weird experience, because I love Current Tom, whereas Early Tom needs to be whacked over the head with a hardback copy of Lord of the Rings. I'm quite interested in seeing how his character makes the transition from 'selfish, cowardly git' to 'someone who may not always get things right, but tries so hard to'.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (oh very well)
I recently looked up 'oh dear' in Wiktionary, hoping to find information about the phrase's origin. Whilst it was not terribly informative, I was amused by the example sentence: Oh dear, you seem to have forgotten to wear clothes.

This is an entry about language! Here are some facts about language that I enjoy.


- Children just beginning to learn to speak will often correctly use irregular verbs: for example, I went. However, when they are slightly older, they will begin to say I goed before returning to I went.

The theory is that at first the children are simply repeating what they hear. However, at some point they realise that adding -ed onto the end of a verb puts it into the past tense, and so they apply that rule universally, saying not only I looked and I wanted but I goed. Later, they realise that some verbs are exceptions to this rule and begin to say I went again.

This is interesting because it shows that children aren't simply parroting back what they hear; they are actually learning and applying grammatical rules. Awesome.


- In a verb string, the form of each verb is determined by the verb preceding it. For example:

I ride the unicorn
I am riding the unicorn - the use of am, a form of the progressive auxiliary to be, puts ride into the progressive form, riding.
I have ridden the unicorn - to have puts ride into the past/perfect* participle, ridden. (The past participle is not necessarily the same as the simple past (I rode the unicorn), but in regular verbs the two forms are the same (I licked the unicorn; I have licked the unicorn.))
I have been riding the unicorn - to have puts to be into the past participle, been, and that in turn puts to ride into the progressive participle, riding.

* This is also called the passive participle, because it is used with to be to form the passive voice: The unicorn was ridden by me.

What fascinates me about this is the fact that it all seems so complicated, and yet people follow all these convoluted grammatical rules without really thinking about it. Does it occur to you, when you ask 'Does Riona realise how boring this is?', that what you're essentially doing is taking the sentence 'Riona realises how boring this is', adding the optional auxiliary to do to make 'Riona does realise how boring this is', and then switching the subject and auxiliary around to form a question? (German can do this without the auxiliary verb: 'liebst du mich?' is essentially 'love you me?', but because in English we can only switch auxiliary or modal verbs with the subject we have to add a 'do'.)

...well, I think it's interesting. I love grammar! I can't help it!


- I imagine many of you will already know about pidgins and creoles, but they're so fascinating that I want to mention them anyway. A pidgin is a simplified language, developed as a means of communication between groups of people who don't share a common tongue. It doesn't really have grammatical rules; the idea is just to convey meaning. However, if the speakers of a pidgin have children, and if those children grow up hearing the pidgin, they will spontaneously give the pidgin grammatical rules. It will become a full-blown language, called a creole. Without consciously knowing what they're doing, these children will give the pidgin a whole new level of consistency and complexity, just in the process of learning it. THAT'S CRAZY.

(I should note that my knowledge of the pidgin-creole relationship came from Stephen Pinker, rather than my course, and as Pinker is an advocate of Chomsky's theory that language is innate he may have an interpretive bias.)
rionaleonhart: kingdom hearts: sora, riku and kairi having a friendly chat. (and they returned home)
If I were to write a Waterloo Road/Pokémon crossover - and I'm not going to, because it would be ridiculous and because there would be literally no market for it and because I'd struggle terribly with the dialect of the pupils, which has grammatical rules that don't come naturally to me (a quote from Josh: 'We was mates! I weren't just 'anging 'round with you so I could jump on you.' Dialects are on the whole grammatically consistent, even if the system they use may not be what's viewed as the 'standard'; Josh certainly wouldn't be using 'was' and 'were' randomly. What rules govern his usage?) - Waterloo Road would be a troubled school for young Pokémon trainers. (Well, young people - not all of the lessons would be Pokémon-related, despite the ridiculous extent to which the canonical Pokémon world appears to revolve around Pokémon - but learning to train Pokémon would form a part of pupils' education.)

Karen Fisher would have a Kangaskhan. I considered giving her a Kangaskhan that had lost the baby in its pouch, but that seemed a little too heavy-handed, even for Waterloo Road. Tom would have a Growlithe. Ronan has a Meowth, I'm inclined to say; a Pokémon that can learn Pay Day seems appropriate for someone so interested in earning money. Also, Meowth and its evolution are associated with Team Rocket, and Ronan's father would of course be a member.

Pupils are not permitted to have Pokémon out of their Pokéballs in the corridors.

Finn has a Mankey. Josh has an Eevee. They have frequent playful Pokémon battles. Sometimes these battles turn a little less playful.

(QUESTIONS I HAVE NEVER ASKED MYSELF BEFORE: what would an Eevee evolve into to symbolise her trainer's acceptance of his homosexuality? ANSWER, REACHED AFTER SOME CONSIDERATION IN A DESPERATE AND UNSUCCESSFUL BID TO FIND A MORE SOLID REASON FOR CHOOSING THAN 'WELL, THAT ONE'S PURPLE': Espeon. It's slightly less terrible reasoning than 'well, Flareon is flaming', at least. (A few years ago, one of my brothers came up with an Eevee evolution and named it 'Lesbeon', but until that species is canonically discovered Espeon it is.))

Were I to write this, there would be a scene in which Josh has just kissed Finn, and they have one of their nastier Pokémon battles, and Tom comes across them and separates them, and Tom's Growlithe picks Josh's injured Eevee up by the scruff of its neck and runs it to the Pokémon-treating facilities in the school, and Josh is panicking about Eevee's health because he's genuinely worried about her but also because he can't leave himself any mental room to think about his rejection and the state of his friendship with Finn, he can't do that.

But I'm not going to write it.

Obviously.
rionaleonhart: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
A couple of nights ago, I dreamt that I was being strangled by a Furby. They don't even have arms!

Anyway, I have been musing on the wonders of the Internet. One of the things I like most about the Internet is the way you can learn all sorts of pointless trivia as you leap about from page to page.

Therefore, here is a pointless trivia entry! Tell me something interesting in the comments, and then everyone who comes by can read it and go 'ooh, I never knew that'. (If your interesting fact comes from a particular field, such as 'biology' or 'linguistics' or 'literature', you could put that in the comment title so people can see at a glance whether it's something in which they would be particularly interested, but that's entirely optional.)

A couple of things to start us off:

- The reason the letters 'i' and 'j' have dots: in Latin texts written in the first millennium AD, 'm' and 'n' were each formed entirely of downward strokes, called 'minim strokes': three for 'm', two for 'n'. 'i' was a single minim stroke, and so the dot was introduced, because otherwise an 'n' and an 'i' next to each other would look exactly the same as an 'm'. 'j' was derived from 'i' (it was originally simply 'I' with a flourish) and therefore kept the dot. (The dot over a lowercase 'i' or 'j' is called a 'tittle', incidentally.)

- It's recently been bothering me that many clock and watch faces inconsistently use 'IIII' rather than 'IV' to represent four whilst still using 'IX' to represent nine. It seems that nobody knows exactly why this is the case, but here is a page of interesting theories.


Feel free to link to this entry if you'd like to draw from a wider pool of knowledge (you should, of course, feel equally free not to link to this entry; there's no pressure). Let's make this the best collection of potential pub quiz answers ever.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hmmm)
My mental screensaver is now Charlie Brooker snogging an adorable furry handpuppet. If I'm not thinking of anything in particular, I'm seeing Brooker making out with a puppet. I suspect this may be the case for a while.

By which I mean that I went to see the You Have Been Watching Children's TV Special being recorded yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] causethesounds, [livejournal.com profile] anewcitylife and [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus. My memory is sort of overwhelmed by CHARLIE BROOKER SNOGGED A PUPPET, but I'll try to recall enough things to make a proper report.

The guests were Mark Watson, Chris Addison and Holly Walsh; the host, of course, was Charlie Brooker.


Mr Fuggles and Other Stories: the recording of the You Have Been Watching Children's TV Special. )


There was a LINE here. It's gone now.