rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
(No Linkin Park in this entry (well, apart from this line), but I might stick with Linkin Park lyrics in my entry titles for a while, as a small tribute.)


Last night I dreamt that Connor and Michaela from How to Get Away with Murder had sex, because Michaela was complaining that her boyfriend couldn't get her off and, well, Connor is gay, but he does like a challenge.

I'm now really sad that I can't write this on three different levels (I can't write sex, I can't write the characters and it would get me into terrible trouble with the fandom), because I desperately want it to exist. I could actually see it happening; they get along very well, they've been through such intense things together that they're well beyond 'can't make weird propositions in case it damages our friendship', and I really wouldn't put it past Connor to suggest it.

I probably shouldn't rewatch How to Get Away with Murder for the sole purpose of writing something that's going to make a lot of people very angry with me.


Here are the stupidest events from this weekend:

- My mum could barely get out of bed on Saturday. Apparently she'd had trouble sleeping the night before, so she'd taken two Natrasleep tablets - but, whoops, turned out that actually she'd accidentally taken some epilepsy medication that was lying around instead. Nobody in the family has epilepsy. I don't understand how this happened. (She is fine.)

- We drove out to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. At one point, my uncle called for silence and began making a speech about their marriage to the sixty or seventy assembled guests. He had failed to notice that my aunt was not present at the time. She showed up halfway through his speech and wasn't terribly impressed.

- There wasn't enough space in the house, so a fair few of the guests, me included, had to camp in the pouring rain. (Camping is horrendous and I am owed a personal apology from whoever invented the commercial tent, thus leading people to think it was somehow acceptable.) At four in the morning, lying in my tent, I heard voices outside; apparently one of my cousins had got rather drunk and forgotten which tent was his. 'Is this your tent, this little one here?' asked the exasperated other cousin trying to guide him. 'Is this your tent?'

- Eventually, my cousin found his tent and crawled in, and then I heard very annoyed voices and an odd hissing noise. It turned out the next day that he'd somehow immediately deflated the air bed his girlfriend was sleeping on.

- We ran out of petrol on the way back and got stuck on the side of the road for an hour. Apparently our petrol gauge is broken, so my dad was just guessing how much petrol we had left, and his guesswork was not spot-on. A policeman showed up and said that one of us had to get into his car, but he wasn't clear on why. It felt like we were being arrested for poor planning. The police just ended up towing us onto a slightly less busy road (rather than actually usefully towing us to a petrol station), but I still don't understand why my brother had to be in the police car.

- Once we'd got home, my mum told me a story that delighted me: apparently, my aunt's parents did not approve of her relationship with the ruffian who would later marry her and become my uncle. One day, my aunt smuggled my uncle into her bedroom at her parents' house. When they heard her father approaching, my uncle hid in the wardrobe. Her father entered the room, immediately opened the wardrobe and said, 'Who do you think you are: James Bond?'
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
Here is an entry of bullet points, because today I have nothing to say that exceeds a paragraph.


- I'm a little further in Tales of the Abyss, and GUY CECIL IS SUCH A GOOD FRIEND. I want to be friends with Guy Cecil. Sadly, his phobia of being touched by women presents an obstacle to hugging, but other than that I think we could get along pretty well. (I'd have to accept that Luke would always be his priority, of course, but it would be unreasonable of me to grumble when his fondness for Luke is the reason I want to be friends with him in the first place.)

- Verdict on the fourth instalment of Higurashi, 'Himatsubushi': NO KEIICHI, TERRIBLE INSTALMENT. I'm here to fondly watch Keiichi suffer, Higurashi! I signed up for psychological horror and teenagers internally collapsing, not cop drama!

- There's also a sad lack of Keiichi in instalment five ('Meakashi') so far, but at least it's got the 'teenagers internally collapsing' aspect (and Keiichi's name appeared in the puzzling opening credits that only actually credited fictional characters, rather than any real people, so I suspect he'll show up later on). 'Meakashi' also contains a version of a song I listened to a lot nine years ago, and it was incredibly disconcerting to hear it in context and go 'wait, I recognise that tune'; I'd forgotten Higurashi was the original source! It was like seeing Troy bring pizza into the burning room in Community and going WAIT, I'VE SEEN THIS GIF.

- Recently, I watched the first episode of a Ukrainian crime drama entitled THE SNIFFER, about a man who solves crime with his superhuman sense of smell. It contains, you'll be pleased to hear, intense CGI sequences where he draws in a deep breath at the crime scene and all the smells swirl and scurry around, forming a picture of what happened there. The killer was trying to quit smoking. He was wearing a nicotine patch; it was on his right arm. A whirlwind of scent surrounds you. There's so much blood in the air. If a cat enters the room, you will have an allergic reaction so strong you won't be able to leave your flat for three days. Your wife left you long ago; your son is involved in drug dealing. Why were you cursed with this incredible nose?

- (I said I wasn't playing Higurashi for cop drama, but I'd definitely play an instalment in which THE SNIFFER tried to get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings in the village.)

- A recent dream I somehow failed to record here: I dreamt I met Sherlock Holmes as played by Benedict Cumberbatch and he declared with ferocious pride that he had ‘all the penises’, and he stripped off his trousers and pants in one motion to reveal he had a cluster of one big penis surrounded by lots of tiny penises, and I woke up feeling incredibly troubled.
rionaleonhart: ffxv: prompto is trying to listen but actually thinking about his giant crush on you (prompto has a crush on everyone) (i can be serious)
Final Fantasy XV is, it turns out, a pretty good thing to play when you're feeling down or distracted. You can lose yourself in lengthy battles, watch your boys drive across the world, take up low-effort hunts or sidequests, fish, wander the landscape, collect ingredients in an attempt to help Ignis invent new recipes. There's so much aimless pottering around to be done. I finished the actual plot about fifty hours in, but by this point I've accumulated over eighty hours on my save file, and there are still sidequests I haven't finished.

There are also still lines I haven't heard and animations I haven't seen before. Prompto and Noctis teamed up to take down an enemy and then high-fived in the middle of battle. Ignis and Noctis did a flashy move together and then stood back-to-back like cool dudes. What a great game.

I also enjoyed this exchange, from the Balouve Mines:

Prompto: At least if we get lost, we can follow the rails back.
Noctis: Good point, Prompto.
Gladio: Even you can come in handy.
Prompto: And even you can be annoying!


Every so often, I find I've written down something I have absolutely no recollection of. In this case, 'I dreamt I tried watching Game of Thrones but couldn't take it seriously because Jaime was played by Julian Barrett in a bad blond wig. Also, Brienne was seduced by a woman and was then heartbroken when the woman turned out to be Grindelwald in disguise.'


The part in DN Angel vol. 9 where Daisuke brings Satoshi to his house is absolutely heartrending. Not because anything bad happens, but because it's just a nice, warm moment in the icy desert of self-loathing that is Satoshi's life, and you know it's fleeting. Satoshi says he ends up destroying everything he cares about. Am I something you care about, Satoshi? Because you're destroying me.

I don't know how this never occurred to me before, but Riku/Sora from Kingdom Hearts and Satoshi/Daisuke from DN Angel are very similar pairings: the reserved boy who believes he doesn't deserve happiness, the spiky-haired optimist he's quietly in love with. The difference is that, if Riku is in love with Sora, it may well be reciprocated. There's no 'if' in Satoshi's love, but there's also no reciprocation. Poor Satoshi.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
Last night, I dreamt that Jaime and Brienne of A Song of Ice and Fire kissed and then immediately died. I am in favour of half of this dream.

Maybe I should start on A Feast for Crows, but I'm still grumpy with A Storm of Swords for splitting up all of my favourite character combinations. Whose chapters am I supposed to look forward to now?


THE BOOKENING TITLE #12: A Closed and Common Orbit, Becky Chambers.


I was disappointed when I first learnt that the follow-up to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet would focus on a couple of minor characters from the first book, rather than on my beloved Wayfarer crew. It turns out that there was no need for disappointment! I'd still love another book about the crew of the Wayfarer (please, Becky Chambers, if you're listening), but I really enjoyed A Closed and Common Orbit.

(It's a sci-fi book all about women! Grumpy, flawed women! Of the five major characters, 3.5 are female and only 1.5 are male. I swear this makes sense when you read it.)

As I've said before, I love it when people are thrown into new, unfamiliar environments, and A Closed and Common Orbit is particularly great because it has two such storylines: Sidra learning to live as organic beings do, and Jane 23 learning that the factory she works in isn't the entire world.

There's always a risk, when a book has multiple storylines, that the reader will focus on one to the extent of resenting the others, and I'll admit that did slightly happen with me; I was fascinated by the Jane storyline, and there were points where I went 'okay, fine, I've just got to push through this Sidra chapter and then I can read more about Jane.' But the Sidra storyline was fine! I just happened to be more invested in the Jane one.

I got oddly emotional about the scene where Jane plays a videogame for the first time. The game characters are so patient and understanding! She's been deprived of that for so much of her life!

Oouoh is my favourite and I'm sad that he's only in one scene. I love him introducing Jane to spices, and their 'Are any of these poisonous?' 'To you? No idea. But I know where the med ward is, and you look easy to carry' exchange.

The ending was really satisfying. And I'm fascinated by all the questions about AI ethics this book raises.

Reading this finally pushed me to buy a physical copy of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I already have the ebook, but it feels wrong not to have a physical version of a book I love so much. Maybe I should reread it. Is it too soon to reread it? It's been less than a year since I read it for the first time, but it feels like it was too long ago. It's such a warm, hopeful book. I think everyone could do with some warmth and hope at the moment.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
In the past month, I have written over twenty thousand words of Assassin's Creed fanfiction. This is my life now. This is what I do.

Which is to say that I've written another few thousand words of Visitors (Gratuitous Wish-Fulfilment Edition) and edited them into the original post! It's slightly veered away from the 'wish-fulfilment' theme and become a more general 'scenes that didn't fit into the original Visitors' collection, though. Most of these scenes involve Desmond's life being ruined for my amusement. Sorry, Desmond.

(Unlike the AO3 version, where I just post new scenes as they're written, I've tried to marshal the version here into... something approaching a chronological order, even though the time-travel concept makes a sensible chronology completely unachievable. I've mainly rearranged things so I can keep the platonic bedsharing scene at the end.

'Riona,' you may say, frowning, 'that makes no chronological sense, no matter how you interpret the passage of time.' This is an excellent point, to which my response is 'screw you'.)


Astonishingly, I've also written a couple of ficlets that aren't for Assassin's Creed recently, so I'm going to post them here!

Along with, er. Along with an Assassin's Creed ficlet. Sorry. (Actually the first thing I wrote for this fandom, before Visitors took over my life.)


Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood: Desmond and Ezio. Originally written for [livejournal.com profile] classics_lover at [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic, here.

Brotherhood: Desmond and Ezio )


Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Hinata and Koizumi, pre-canon. Originally written for [livejournal.com profile] naekusaba101. Full-game spoilers. (Incidentally, last night I had a dream about Hinata and Koizumi sleeping curled up together and it was adorable.)

Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Hinata and Koizumi )


Animorphs: Marco and Rachel, Hunger Games AU. I can't believe I've never actually written anything involving the Animorphs characters before; I've loved these books for so long! Originally written for [livejournal.com profile] streussal at [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic, here.

Animorphs: Hunger Games AU )


I keep thinking about this Animorphs 'victors of the Hunger Games' AU. I don't go into detail here about how Marco won his Games, but I imagine it was with some sort of trap.

Presumably Jake won as a Career, like Rachel; I imagine they'd live in the same district, and only volunteers get into the arena in the Career districts. The Career pack cleared most of the field under Jake's leadership before eventually turning on each other, and he was the one who emerged alive.

Cassie hid and hunted for food and just outsurvived her fellow tributes. The Capitol admires her for winning without a drop of blood on her hands, and she's often depicted with angel wings in merchandise, but she very much thinks of herself as a killer. Surviving is an act of violence when only one person can live.

Tobias is selected as a tribute the year after Marco. He dies in the initial scramble for the Cornucopia.

This is a horrible crossover.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
In my 2013 playthrough of Final Fantasy VII, I was startled by how much important backstory I'd just missed on previous playthroughs because it was hidden away: the escapee reports in the Shinra mansion, the Gast and Ifalna films in Icicle Inn.

In this playthrough, I finally saw the flashback to Zack and Cloud's time together as fugitives.

Why is this flashback optional and incredibly out-of-the-way? Why would you hide such important backstory away like that? There is no possible reason you might think 'hey, better go back to the basement of the Shinra mansion' by the point in the game at which you can see it! This is why it took me so long to understand the plot of this game!

Crisis Core helped me develop a real appreciation and love for the story of Final Fantasy VII. I'm only now discovering that part of what fascinated me about Crisis Core was already established canon in the original game. MAYBE I'D HAVE COME AROUND TO YOU AGES AGO IF YOU HADN'T MADE YOUR STORY SO HARD TO FIND, FINAL FANTASY VII.


My relationship with Final Fantasy VII has been rather a fraught one. I'm amazed and delighted to have reached a point where I can love it wholeheartedly, more than a decade after playing it for the first time.

I'm also very surprised that Cloud ended up being my favourite character! For a long time, I was fooled by parts of the fandom into thinking Cloud was a badass, rather than a hopeless wreck who thinks he's a badass. He's such a fascinating construction! Why ignore the aspects that make him so interesting?

(I found it hilarious when we took over the Shinra submarine and two-thirds of my party went down with horrible motion sickness. I'd forgotten that both Yuffie and Cloud had problems on that front. We really didn't think this plan through.)


There's a part of me that sort of wants to attempt Final Fantasy VII fanfiction but has no idea what to write. Maybe something in which Cloud has a moment of connection with each of the other party members? I don't know.

I probably won't actually write Final Fantasy VII fanfiction, because I don't feel I really have a grasp of any of the characters' voices. But I want to. (Feel free to throw me any fanfiction concepts you'd particularly like to see written. As I say, I probably won't actually write them, but you never know!)

It'd be easy to blame my inability to write the VII characters on the game's awkward English translation, but perhaps it wouldn't be entirely fair. I criticise Final Fantasy VII's translation a lot, but ultimately it does have spirit and makes a real effort to differentiate the characters' voices, which is important; a technically perfect translation with no life to it would be far, far worse. Even if there are some lines where it feels like someone's gone 'I have no idea what this is supposed to mean; let's just throw a literal translation in there and hope it makes sense somehow.'

I've been very unfair to this game. It could certainly be better, but it deserves so much more credit than I gave it in the past.


Last night, I dreamt I was playing a new game set in the Final Fantasy XIII universe. It had vocal recognition that allowed me to address the characters directly. 'Snow, are you sure this is a good idea?' I asked, when Snow seemed insistent on approaching some soldiers who were unlikely to be happy to see us. Snow's response was, of course, 'Oh yeah!'

I was slightly devastated to wake and realise technology has not yet reached the level where I can converse with Snow Villiers. One day!
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Videos I didn't realise were essential to my life until I discovered they existed: Jensen Ackles holding a tiny pig. I love that you can see him steadily becoming more and more fond of it.


I'd forgotten how much I 'shipped Dean Winchester with both of his parents in 'In the Beginning'. That's, er, that's unfortunate. (To my mild surprise, the only Supernatural fic idea that's really struck me since I started this rewatch is one about Dean teaming up with his mother to hunt in 1973. JUST TEAMING UP, I PROMISE; IT'S NOT ANYTHING CREEPY. I was expecting something about the brothers, but I'll take whatever inspiration I can get. I'm also half-tempted to write something about Dean and Bela meeting again in the space between the third and fourth seasons; they infuriate each other, but in a weird way they also help each other cope.)

Dean twitching on the hotel bed during his nightmare in 'Wishful Thinking' really got to me. He looked so young and vulnerable and I really, really wanted to give him a hug. To be honest, I want to hug Dean fairly frequently whilst watching Supernatural.

'Heaven and Hell' is an interesting episode; it contains a fair few things that don't quite work for me (lengthy awkward sex scene with very little chemistry, too much focus on Hell as a place of physical rather than psychological torture, Dean's awestruck and improbable 'It's beautiful' upon seeing a tree), but it also contains a lot of things I adore. In particular, I love that Sam, Dean and Ruby spend the entire episode working together. They make an amazing, amazing trio and I wish we could have so many more episodes of them working as a team. And Dean comes to respect and trust Ruby!

'Heaven and Hell' is also the episode that convinced me Castiel had a great big crush on Dean, incidentally, and the episode in which I wholly embraced Genevieve Cortese as Ruby. And, if I recall correctly, it's the first episode in which Sam refers to the Impala as 'she', which makes me smile so much. It's an imperfect episode, but in many ways it's a good one.


A few nights ago, I dreamt that I was Annie Edison of Community, and I teamed up with Dean Winchester and Jeremy Clarkson to fight our evil doppelgangers. Dean ended up kissing my double, for some reason. Much affronted, I demanded that he kiss me as well. He did. I woke confused but intrigued.
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
A few nights ago, I had a dream that I watched Atlantis, the BBC's latest Saturday-night fantasy drama series. Having woken, I decided that this was obviously a sign and I should give Atlantis a try. (It's probably not a great idea to take advice from my dreams. Somebody stop me if I try to re-enact the one in which I piss Hitler off at a fancy dinner party.)

About a third of the way into the first episode of Atlantis, I had to pause and fire off a distressed e-mail to [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus:


NO

ATLANTIS IS MERLIN IN ANCIENT GREECE WITH TIME TRAVEL

(THE MAIN CHARACTER LOSES HIS SHIRT FOUR MINUTES IN, IT IS DEFINITELY MERLIN)

I'M NOT EVEN HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST EPISODE

I LOVE IT ALREADY

I'M EVEN 'SHIPPING SOMETHING

NO

THIS IS A DISASTER



Then I finished the episode and spent half an hour looking through Atlantis GIFs on Tumblr and shouting 'NO' at myself.

There's only been one episode, so I suppose things could change, but I can say this much for now: if you liked Merlin, you will probably like Atlantis. If you hated Merlin but nevertheless derived a strange sense of enjoyment from watching it, you will probably hate-love Atlantis as well.

If you haven't watched Merlin and therefore can't use that as a basis, here's a second 'Is Atlantis For Me?' test: if you are looking for high-quality drama, stay away. If you're looking for something ridiculous about a modern-day young man being thrown into Ancient Greece (a turn of events he inexplicably accepts within about five seconds) and developing a gratuitously homoerotic friendship with Pythagoras, I don't know why you're not watching it right now. It's available on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK.

I think it has very strong potential to be the next big fandom thing.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
Last night, I dreamt that I was making out with Takuto of Full Moon wo Sagashite (STOP LAUGHING) and suddenly realised that he was purring. Adorable. 'Takuto purrs when he's being kissed' is going straight into my headcanon. I bet he gets really embarrassed about it, too.


Were you aware that the seventh series of Would I Lie to You?, best panel show on British television, started on the third of May? It took me completely by surprise.

I was actually supposed to be going to a recording of Would I Lie to You? on the third, but alas the venue was full when we got there and we were turned away; I think ticket-holders have started turning up a lot earlier than they used to. I also had tickets for a recording on Monday, though, and - having learnt from my earlier error - did manage to get into that one.

On David Mitchell's team were Mel Giedroyc and Dermot O'Leary; on Lee Mack's were Matt Dawson and Josh Widdicombe; the host, as ever, was Rob Brydon. I don't remember much from this recording, I'm afraid - I have no idea how I managed to write up vast recaps in the past - but it was good fun. Here's what little I do remember, at least. I might have a bit more to say after the episode has aired.


Would I Lie to You? recording, 6th May 2013. )


I'm afraid that's all I have for now! I suppose you'll just have to watch the episode yourself.

Finally, a deeply distressing conversation with my housemate:

Riona: I watched Waterloo Road today, even though I shouldn't.
RD: That's fine. I think you should always watch Waterloo Road. Your life would be sadder without it. It's an integral part of your makeup as a human being.
Riona: That's the worst thing anyone's ever said to me.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hope is all we have)
Last night, I had a dream that I ran across spoilers for Super Dangan Ronpa 2. The dream-spoilers said that there would be a Hinata/Komaeda pseudo-sex scene at one point: a hallucination on Hinata's part. I was simultaneously glad to realise it was just a dream, because I don't want to be spoiled, and a little disappointed, because to be honest I was looking forward to that weird hallucinatory sex scene.

(Incidentally, have you been watching the videos for the first trial? Have you really listened to the last couple of lines in this video from yesterday's update (update 36), starting at 6.05? Someone's inappropriately turned on.)


A week or so ago, I came across a DVD of something called Full Moon wo Sagashite in a drawer; someone must have given it to me years ago, but I had no recollection of so much as hearing the name before. Curious, I decided to try out this mysterious anime I knew nothing about.

Full Moon wo Sagashite, it turns out, is basically Japanese Hannah Montana, except the main character has one year to live.

Said main character is twelve, and it feels a lot like wish-fulfilment fantasy written by an actual twelve-year-old, when I think about it (with the possible exception of the terminal illness). Her guardian is harsh and strict, but a kind man takes her under his wing and becomes her father figure. She has magical friends only she can see. One of them turns her into a sixteen-year-old so she can audition as a singer. The moment the judges hear her sing, they go CANCEL THE REST OF THE AUDITIONS, WE'VE FOUND OUR NEW ARTIST. There's even an episode in which one of the other auditionees goes 'pfft, they only chose you for your looks, I'm a much better singer,' and then, after being bowled over by Our Heroine's debut live performance, approaches her to ask for forgiveness. It's like the most endearing Mary Sue fic you've ever read.

I've now seen eleven episodes, and Full Moon wo Sagashite has made me realise how irrational I can be when it comes to pairings. If I take against a canonical couple, I'll try to justify my dislike to myself by pointing out all the problems with that couple, then turn around and happily start 'shipping something with much larger problems. This Mitsuki/Eichi thing doesn't really sit well with me, I thought. I mean, she's twelve and he's eighteen and she's been pining after him for two years and she's become a singer mainly to get his attention; it just doesn't feel right. Obviously she needs to forget about him and have a nice healthy relationship with... with, er, the god of death, age unknown, who's come to take her soul.

Obviously.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
Found myself inexplicably struck by the urge to replay Final Fantasy XIII-2, so I've started up a new game on that. I keep 'awww'ing whenever Serah and Noel interact. XIII-2 may not be as strong on character as its predecessor, but I do really like the friendship between the two leads.

I've mentioned it before, but I love that this game is about a really close male-female friendship without a hint of romance. It's not a 'will they, won't they' dynamic; it's a pretty unambiguous 'they won't'. But their relationship is never portrayed as in any way unimportant or lesser for being 'just' friendship.

(Not that there's anything wrong with 'shipping them! 'Shipping them is entirely fine. It's just refreshing that their relationship in canon is affectionate in a way devoid of romantic implication.)

Something I'd never seen before: I was in the Bresha Ruins pre-Atlas defeat, when it's pouring with rain. Whilst I spoke to one of those guards who are rendered completely unintelligible by their stupid helmets, Noel ran under an archway to get out of the rain and sat down against the wall. I found this completely adorable for some reason. It's rather nice that the character you're not controlling will sometimes wander around and do their own thing; party member behaviour has come a long way since the PERFECT ORDERLY SINGLE FILE of Final Fantasy VIII.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to recruit an Albino Lobo today (gotta catch 'em all!). One practically threw itself at me the first time I played, so I hadn't realised how rare they were. They're fantastically ugly things, but I had to have one on my team; Hendrick the Albino Lobo stayed with me throughout the entire game on my first playthrough and served me extremely well. Eventually, just when I was about to abandon my search, a pair of Albino Lobos took pity on me and tried to bite my face off. Welcome to the team, Fenrir!


The Mentalist returned to UK television a few weeks ago - we're up to 'Blood Feud' - and I am loving this series. Some people use flowers; Jane expresses his love by, well, doing that alarming thing he did for Rigsby in 'Blood Feud'. I don't know whether I want to coo adoringly or hide underneath a table whenever he's on the screen.

I had a dream, shortly before the fifth series started over here, that Jane occasionally worked on cases with a teenage girl and got upset when people mistook her for his daughter. Given 'Devil's Cherry', this seems oddly prescient. I have to wonder whether the dream I had shortly afterwards, in which Jane attempted to prevent Red John from leaving by kissing him, will also somehow manifest itself in canon. Or the one in which Jane suspected me of murder. I hope that one doesn't come true.

(The title of this entry comes from Jane. Something else that delights me about Jane: when he wants Van Pelt to zoom in on a digital image, he asks, 'Can you grow that? Can you - can you biggify?' He is absolutely useless with computers and I love it.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
I've picked up a copy of Revenant Wings, the DS sequel to Final Fantasy XII. I'm quite amused by the fact that, in other direct Final Fantasy sequels, the main character of the original is largely shunted out of the way so other characters can take the spotlight. In Revenant Wings, Balthier and Basch are shunted out of the way so Vaan, who had essentially no role in the plot of the original game, can have his own story, even though Vaan was the main playable character of XII.

More importantly: IT'S TOMAJ THE NPC WITH THE WORLD'S MOST SARCASTIC FACE, HI TOMAJ. I didn't know he had a larger role in this! If our close associates have to be characters who had a microscopically small role in the first game, I'm glad at least one of them is Tomaj the Sarcastic-Faced NPC.

(I did actually remember Tomaj from the original game, even though he had about ten lines and existed primarily to give a licence board tutorial. He'd be immensely gratified to hear that.)

And the airship has a log! And Penelo insists that everyone write in it, and Kytes is very dedicated and earnest and records everything, and Tomaj just writes about how bored he is, and Filo ignores the log entirely, and Penelo writes GUYS YOU'RE ALL SUPPOSED TO WRITE IN THE LOG and Vaan writes FINE PENELO I'M WRITING IN THE LOG, HAPPY NOW??? and I am really quite charmed by this.

The progression of Tomaj's log entries when everyone else goes missing, incidentally, is absolutely adorable:

- There were tremors in the mountains, and nobody's returned since. I searched the caves but couldn't find anyone, and before I knew it the Strahl was gone. I hope for the best, but somehow I doubt everyone just got lost...

- I'm starting to get worried. I questioned the sky pirates, the aegyl, and even had Cu Sith ask the Yarhi, but no one knows where everyone's gone. It's as if they vanished into thin air. But they have to be somewhere...

- If this is a joke, I'm not laughing. I know they're out there. Somewhere. Will search again tomorrow.

I was also a bit charmed by the bit at the beginning where the two sky-pirating duos found two treasures, and Vaan went 'great, one each!' and of course Balthier tried to talk his way into getting both. Oh, Balthier.

Other favourite moments:

Penelo: You're alive!
Fran: I am. This surprises you?

Foulmouthed Moogle: Kupo-po-po! Kupo kupo! And your chocobo too, kupo!

Nono: Do you have room for a weary moogle to rest his pompom, kupo?
Tomaj: No objections from me... kupo.

AND VAAN PUNCHED BALTHIER. I love Balthier, but frankly he deserved that.

The problem with this game is that I do not have an ounce of strategic thinking in my being. I am becoming very, very familiar with the Game Over music. It's pretty music, but I could stand to hear less of it, to be honest.


Shortly after beginning Revenant Wings, I fell asleep and dreamt that the game started to lean in a Penelo/Squall Leonhart direction. There was a scene in which Penelo pinned Squall down on a bed and explained that she thought Laguna was trying to kill him and agonised aloud about how awful that was, and Squall looked bewildered at first but then began, very slightly, to smile. This... this seems unlikely on several levels. (To be fair to my subconscious's characterisation abilities, I'm fairly certain Laguna hadn't endangered Squall intentionally; there was a misunderstanding.)


In other news, Lightning Returns, a new game in the Final Fantasy XIII series, has been announced! I am quite excited about this. Predictably, half the Final Fantasy fandom is going 'WHO ARE ALL THESE GAMES FOR, DO SQUARE-ENIX HATE MONEY OR SOMETHING, NOBODY LIKED FINAL FANTASY XIII'.

The games are for me, Final Fantasy fandom. They are all for me. I am the mythical Final Fantasy XIII fan and Square-Enix are making games solely for me.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
I have a spare ticket for Would I Lie to You? tomorrow (Friday 16th March). Would anyone like it? If you are over sixteen and can make it to Uxbridge tube station by 5.45ish tomorrow afternoon, you are qualified. The recording itself starts at seven o'clock and will probably be finished around ten. Claimed!


So this entry won't lose all purpose once the ticket has been claimed, have some scattered lines from the records I keep of my dreams:

- Dreamt I was being haunted by a portrait of a mad author, who kept visiting minor misfortune upon me (e.g. leaky ceilings) because I never seemed to get around to reading her book.

- After the seminar, I approached [Charlie] Brooker, who by this point had turned into a tabby cat.

- Also an overweight German prince sat on my lap.

- I was dragged before Hitler. He castigated me for my lack of manners. I had to apologise. It was extremely nerve-wracking.

- Dreamt that Simon Baker played an older Kurt Hummel [of Glee]. And apparently Kurt and his older self hung out quite a bit? And apparently his older self slept in a coffin on the grounds of McKinley like a vampire?

- Dream in which Blaine Anderson [of Glee] was very friendly and charming and also possibly a hitman for a dystopian government? Narration from the dream: 'To get by in this world, you had to either work hard or kill people. Blaine Anderson had killed a lot of people.' (I'm actually strangely taken with this idea.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (i believe you are hiding something)
Once again, Derren Brown both fascinates me and makes me want to bury myself under ten feet of solid rock so he can't get anywhere near me. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, DERREN BROWN?

EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.

(That bit with the ice bath! I could barely watch.)

(Derren Brown could commit so many murders and nobody would ever catch him.)

(SERIOUSLY THAT MAN IS TERRIFYING.)

If you haven't seen Derren Brown's The Assassin and feel like compelling yourself to hide under your bed for the next month, it's available here on 4oD at the moment. It has more of a focus on hypnotism than most of his other work, and it is really interesting. And really scary.

And I've just watched a clip of Derren explaining some of the thinking behind the programme (his chatting persona and his stage persona are so different! They actually speak and move differently. Incidentally, if you've wondered where his little nodding tic came from, it's because he got so into the habit of nodding to manipulate people into being compliant that now he can't stop), and when trying to explain why he chose Chris as a subject he ends up describing him as 'in a nice way, kind of an empty vessel'. Derren. We're all just pawns in your eyes, aren't we? (But I can sort of see what he means; when Chris and Other Guy were asked what the icewater experience was like, Chris kept following Other Guy's lead in describing it (Other Guy: It felt X. Chris: Yeah, it felt X), which I'd assume is a sign of suggestibility.)

He also says that Hero at 30,000 Feet was born of thinking 'oh, can't we do something nice for someone for a change?' Because in Derren's world there's nothing nicer than tying someone to some train tracks and making them think they're on a crashing plane. See also: the time he tied a young woman up in a sack and then pushed her into a lake as a 'treat'.

And then I fell asleep and dreamt that Derren Brown had brainwashed some poor girl into chasing me around with a rifle. Get out of my head!
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
Single best sentence in the written records I keep of my dreams: Dreamt that Boris Johnson kneed me in the stomach. How do I not remember this?


I don't own a PSP, so I haven't played either of the Dissidia Final Fantasy fighting games. However, because I am very interested by the prospect of characters from different Final Fantasy games interacting, I've been watching some of the pre-battle quotes on YouTube.

Whilst I love most of Yuna's lines - encouraging the heroes, showing her resolve when facing villains - I have a few issues with the portrayal and perceptions of Squall.

Squall to Cloud: Another lost soul, like me...

Awful. No. Squall doesn't romanticise his isolation; he just sees it as necessary. (The portrayal of Cloud is a different issue, best addressed by someone more familiar with the character than I; I never felt I could entirely get to grips with the cast of VII, largely because of the poor translation.)

Squall to Squall: There can only be one Squall.

I don't like this one because, in my eyes, Squall keeps a fair amount of self-loathing under his skin. 'There can only be one Squall' implies arrogance, whereas I think Squall feels on some level that it would be better if there were no Squalls.

In Duodecim, Squall's quote when fighting himself is, 'If you are me, then you understand,' which I prefer. Squall has always been fighting himself; when there are physically two of him, of course they're going to fight.

Kuja to Squall: I'll crush your confidence.

Squall is not a confident person. He is sure of his own ability in battle; he is a seething mass of insecurity in basically everything else. I don't like this line because Kuja strikes me as fairly perceptive, capable of picking out and needling at the things that really bother someone; I think he'd be able to see through Squall's front, and having him fall for the front implies to me that the scriptwriters have also fallen for it. Speaking of which:

Squall to Cloud of Darkness: I have no fear.

Utterly, utterly, utterly untrue. This line's sort of excusable, though, because Squall does like to tell himself that he's not afraid.

Tidus to Squall: What's on your mind? Spill it!

I do like this one, mostly because it makes me think of how hilarious it would be if Squall and Tidus spent any real amount of time together. They would not get along at all, although it wouldn't be for lack of trying on Tidus' part.

Yuna to Squall: Don't you want to be with the others?
Squall to Yuna: Can't you fight alone?

And these are perfect; don't change a thing. Squall and Yuna have always been opposites on this point: Squall views relying on others as a sign of weakness, whereas Yuna believes that her friends are the source of her strength. What would happen if, in some strange collision of the VIII and X worlds, Garden assigned Squall to be Yuna's guardian?

Squall to Vaan: ...you're hard to deal with.

ALSO PERFECT. Poor Vaan.

Kefka to Kefka: Ooh, who's that handsome devil?

This quote has nothing to do with Squall, obviously, but I am including it because it is the best.

Also brilliant: Vaan asks Ultimecia how old she is. VAAN. And I never finished Final Fantasy V, but Bartz has some great quotes: 'Would it kill you to smile sometimes?' (when fighting Squall), and 'Light, give me strength! ...or whatever.'

I suppose part of my issue with Squall in Dissidia might just be that I don't really like Doug Erholtz as his voice actor, but I suppose that was inevitable; because I'm English, I tend to imagine that non-voiced characters from worlds other than ours are speaking with some form of English accent, and of course they'll almost always be voiced by Americans if they later appear in voiced works. Ah, well.
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
Here is the writeup of our family holiday, during which we passed through places with names such as 'Waterley Bottom', 'Giggleswick' and 'Wigglesworth'! The cast are me, my mum, my dad and my two younger brothers, Joseph and Fred. In case you're not sure who 'Harriet' is: that's my real name, which I'm using in this writeup because my family don't call me Riona.


Signs we saw in various pubs:

'This may come as a surprise to you, but your fellow diners do not wish to hear about your colostomy.'

'Husbands and wives do not hold hands or grope each other in public. People having a bit on the side do. It is obvious, embarrassing and silly. Please control your hormones.'

'Should a hand reach up out of the toilet, you are advised not to shake it.'


Professor McGonagall, where's your monocle? )


By the way, if you ever find a golf ball in a blackberry bush in the Lake District, it is ours. Well, sort of ours. Fred found it in a cluster of trees next to a golf course. I suppose it's technically stolen.

(If you missed them and you're interested, most of the limericks we composed on this holiday are in an entry over here.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xii: fran glares; tremble with fear! (don't cross me)
(EDIT: My brother has shown me that I am in fact in the wrong. I am a fool, and I apologise to Professor Layton for casting aspersions on his puzzle expertise.)

DEAR PROFESSOR LAYTON:

NO. AN ANALOGUE CLOCK'S HOUR AND MINUTE HANDS DO NOT PASS OVER EACH OTHER TEN TIMES BETWEEN TWELVE NOON AND TWELVE MIDNIGHT; THEY PASS OVER EACH OTHER ELEVEN TIMES. YOU SAY 'THEY START AND END ON TOP OF EACH OTHER SO TWO OF THE TWELVE HOURS DON'T COUNT', BUT TWELVE TO TWELVE INCLUSIVE IS THIRTEEN HOURS.

YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PUZZLE EXPERT AND I WANT MY PICARATS BACK.

I'm enraged by this silly puzzle in a silly DS game to such an extent that it's actually sort of hilarious. Seriously, though, if you're going to make a game based entirely on puzzles, you really do need to make sure that all the puzzles are correct.

(The American version of Professor Layton and the Curious Village has a different puzzle featuring a digital clock, apparently. I HOPE IT IS A LESS RAGE-INDUCING ONE.)

It's a good game! I am just smarting at the injustice of it all.

(And then I stumbled across this wonderfully silly piece of dialogue and I forgave everything:

Stallholder: You want to take some sausages home with you? These are some links you don't want to be missing!
Layton: No, thank you.
Stallholder: Too bad! Not to bust your 'chops' or anything, but the deal was a one-time offer! Maybe you would've said yes if you'd known what was at 'steak'! Har har har har!
Layton: I think we're done here, Luke.
Luke: I couldn't agree more, Professor.)


A couple of nights ago, I dreamt that Jimmy Carr was almost run over by a car.

In the ocean. The ship he had been in with Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell and Richard Hammond had sunk, and they were all treading water, and the car came CHARGING TOWARDS HIM OVER THE WAVES.

Hammond managed to barrel it out of the way before it hit him.

I'm just posting this because I'm amused by the Carr-car thing.
rionaleonhart: peep show: mark stares at you in anguish, looking as if you've just taken his job away and eaten it in front of him. (all i wanted)
The past two episodes of Peep Show (episodes three and four of the seventh series) have been fantastic! I've been worrying recently that it might have lost some of its brilliance, but the brilliance appears to be back in full force.


Thoughts on episode 7.04 of Peep Show. )


Seriously, why is there not more Peep Show fanfiction? There is no excuse for this.

(Last night, incidentally, I dreamt that I was Jeremy and encountered some aliens who, although friendly and welcoming, did want to cut off my hand and gouge out my eyes. After running away from them a lot, I managed to impress them so much with my (terrible) dancing that they let me go. I am fully confident that this will be the plot of next week's episode.)
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
Last night, I dreamt of a dystopian future in which it was mandatory to pray to certain deities, because they were bad deities and the government received a commission on every soul that went to Hell. Also, I somehow ended up in bed with Catherine Tate in front of a live studio audience.* Half of this dream could make a great novel, but I can't work out which half.


...in - in the Mentalist episode 'Red Carpet Treatment', Cho slaps Rigsby on the arse. I didn't imagine that, right?

And then, later in the episode, Cho says of Rigsby, 'Three hours of burning silence, then sarcasm. It's like we're married.'

Not that I have any objection if you want to flirt, guys; I was just slightly surprised to see it on a programme that is not on the BBC and is therefore not subject to the BBC's mandatory homoeroticism quota.** (You're not allowed to leave Jane out in the unlikely event of your actually getting together, though.)

I rather liked Jane kissing Hightower's cheek at the end of 'Pink Chanel Suit', because I could easily work it into my 'Patrick Jane is in love with everyone on the team' theory: in kissing her cheek, Jane is symbolically saying 'I have decided that I am in love with you, as I am with everyone else in this branch of the CBI, and therefore you can stay'. Welcome to the world of Patrick Jane's powerful nonsexual polyamorous love, Hightower! You'll never leave. THIS IS TOTALLY THE INTENDED CANONICAL INTERPRETATION OF JANE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TEAM. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT DISSENT.


* by which I mean that I also dreamt this, not that this also happened last night.

** Did the BBC expend rather a lot of that quota on the two-part Merlin series three finale, incidentally, or was that just me? (Er, I'm asking whether it was just me seeing it, rather than whether it was me rather than the BBC expending the quota. I promise that I have not been breaking into the BBC headquarters and rewriting Merlin scripts to make them more homoerotic. It would be an entirely unnecessary undertaking.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (highway to hell)
Dreamt an odd little creepy story last night. In my dream, the story was by [livejournal.com profile] wanttobeatree; she was physically enacting it for me to watch.


surprisingly coherent dream-story: the teacher and the bull. )


Unrelatedly: you know what I'd like? A family-relationships commentfic request meme. They can be happy, functional relationships, like Sokka and Katara, or dysfunctional to the point of literally trying to kill each other, like Zuko and Azula. The characters don't necessarily have to be related by blood; Phineas and Ferb (stepbrothers), Tom and Chlo (guardianship), Gaius and Merlin (fatherly relationship) and even requests like 'Sora, Riku and Kairi being siblingish' and 'Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who adopts Toph of Avatar and they have adventures' would be welcome as well. Zuko and Iroh, Sam and Dean, Ellen and Jo, Ed and Al, Donna and Wilf, Tom and Josh, Matt and Sambuca, Balthier and Cid, Tidus and Jecht, Michael and Lincoln, Sherlock and Mycroft, Ryan and Sharpay, Kurt and Burt, Sue and Jean, Morgana and Uther: so many possibilities! The only rule would be 'no incest', because, although there's nothing wrong with incest fic, it's often easier to find than sexless fanfiction about family relationships. (Possibly 'no incest unless incest is canonical', because the 'no incest' rule might cause trouble for people who wanted to request Revolutionary Girl Utena fic.)

Yes, all right, this idea has arisen in good part out of a desire to fix the Tom-Chlo relationship I broke.

So, what do you think? I've never hosted a fic meme before, and I'm a little afraid that it would just fizzle out, but if I were to host this would you be interested?

(Apologies to anyone who saw my desperate failed efforts to create a poll. Don't forget to create a poll before you actually post a poll-requiring entry, guys, because trying to edit a poll into an entry once it's been posted is a nightmare. You're going to have to express any interest you might have in a comment, I'm afraid.)