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)
I DIDN'T KNOW WATERLOO IN LONDON WAS NAMED AFTER THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. For my entire life I've thought the Battle of Waterloo was fought in London! I'm so embarrassed.

(I told my dad this. He asked if he could get a refund from my school.)

Just finished a replay of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (it seemed necessary after Pirates of the Caribbean) and got tearful all over again at the ending. Of all the Assassin's Creed games, I think Black Flag has the story I get most invested in, perhaps because it's so small-scale and personal. The focus is very much on Edward and all that he learns and all that he loses, rather than on the Assassin-Templar conflict.

This is why Black Flag is one of my favourite games in the series, even though two thirds of the missions are terrible. Tailing isn't fun! Eavesdropping is a nightmare! Naval combat is - well, actually I enjoyed the sailing bits a lot more on this playthrough than I did on my first. Which is good, and not just on the revelatory 'videogames are better when you enjoy playing them' level; it was difficult to get into Edward Kenway's mindset when he was so at home on the water and I was so miserable. But there's no excuse for the missions where you have to tail in the ship.

Edward/Kidd is still the best pairing. Amazing discovery on this replay: in the opening cutscene of an early mission ('A Single Madman'), Kidd pats Edward on the arse. I want them to have so much sex where Edward's painfully in love and Kidd's just going 'need some stress relief; I suppose you'll do.'

On this replay, I really got the sense that Anne Bonny could have been Edward's second wife if things had gone slightly differently, although there would always have been the strange underlying sadness of their shared loss. It's an intriguing thought, but in that universe we'd never have had Haytham and the horrible but fascinating Haytham-and-Connor relationship, and that would have been a tragedy.

Here's something that's been bothering me. In the original Pokémon games, Professor Oak shows up to congratulate your rival on becoming the Pokémon Champion. On finding out that you've beaten him, though, he scolds your rival: 'I'm disappointed! I came when I heard you beat the Elite Four! But, when I got here, you had already lost!'

Isn't that a bit harsh? However briefly, your grandson was the best Pokémon trainer in the country. Most people are never going to achieve those heights! Give him a bit of recognition, Oak, for goodness' sake.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
My birthday card from my brother and his girlfriend this year contained the finest bit of one-upmanship I've ever seen:

Dear Harriet,
Have a lovely birthday!
Eleanor xx

Dear Harriet,
Have two lovely birthdays!
Lots of love
Joe xxX

Finished Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag! It took me a little while to get into it (my initial attitude was 'why does this pirate game have so much bloody sailing in it?'), but I got very into it when it eventually clicked for me. Which seems to be a bit of a trend with Assassin's Creed games, actually.

The problem with Assassin's Creed games is that they make me really sad about things that happened hundreds of years ago. Don't get me attached to actual historical figures and then show me their tragic historical fates! I broke into sobs during 'The Parting Glass', when we saw the table full of Edward's lost friends.

These games also inspire some really weird historical RPF. Fanfiction that needs to be written right this second: Mary Read bangs Edward Kenway purely to impregnate herself so she won't be hanged if she's caught. (Or is that really the only reason? If you try to ask her, she'll just laugh at you.)

There are two possible ways this could go down. The first: Mary seduces Edward and he only later realises 'fuck, she only wanted me for my sperm'. The second: Mary openly goes 'hey, might need to save my skin soon enough, get me pregnant' and Edward goes 'well, o... okay?' (and then tries very hard not to get emotionally involved and fails miserably).

I am wholly in favour of either scenario, incidentally. Unfortunately I can't write sex scenes, and this doesn't really seem like the sort of concept where it's possible to skirt around the actual sex. Thwarted! Please write this, somebody.

[ profile] th_esaurus watched a late-game mission with me and was initially outraged by Mary's made-up state.

RD: Where did she get lipstick in prison?
Riona: Earlier, we saw her cut her finger and dye her lips with her blood.
RD: ...
RD: Yes. I accept this.

I'm rather taken with Mary, I have to say. Perhaps inevitably, though, my favourite part of the entire game was Edward's drunken hallucinatory breakdown. I had no idea what was going on, but it was great.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xv: prompto, the best character, with a touch of swagger. (looking ahead)
The text message I sent to [ profile] th_esaurus early on in my holiday:

The colours in Greece are very bright and warm, like someone's turned up the saturation. On the downside, today I had literal ants in my literal pants.

The message I sent towards the end:


So, yes, I've spent the past week in Greece! On the extremely beautiful island of Kefalonia, specifically. I could swear the shore nearest us was the shore from the opening video of Final Fantasy VIII. The waves breaking on the beach looked exactly the same. I never thought the sea could actually be that colour, but apparently it can!

Here is the traditional write-up of things that amused me during the holiday. Cast: Harriet (me), Mum (my mother), Dad (my father), Joseph and Fred (my two younger brothers), and Eleanor (Joseph's girlfriend).

Family adventures in Greece! )

On our last full day of the holiday, we went to Ithaca by boat. I wanted to go to Ithaca solely to stick it to Odysseus (I think Odysseus is a great character but don't much like him as a person), but I actually got strangely emotional looking at the island from offshore, thinking about him seeing it again at last after all those years.

(And then Poseidon sent a storm to batter us. That guy is really weird about people going to Ithaca.)
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
Somehow I've never told this family story here! A few years ago, my dad was preparing a big lunch for our family and the actors in my mum's play. He came back from the common nearby with a plant.

Dad: I found this on the common. Do you think this is cow parsley or hemlock?
Riona: Er...
Dad: Because I want to put it in the salad. I think it's probably cow parsley. But they do look very similar. What do you think it is?
Riona: I don't know, but I'm not sure you should put it in the salad if you have to ask that question.
Dad: But it probably is cow parsley!

It took a bizarrely long time to persuade him to use something else instead. He really wanted to put that thing in the salad. Here is my free cooking advice to all of you: if you have the choice between something that is probably not hemlock and something that is definitely not hemlock, it's best to go for the latter.

I've now finished Assassin's Creed II!

The problem with the Assassin's Creed games is that I'm perhaps too fascinated by the side-effects of the Animus. I couldn't really get engaged with Ezio's story because I was much more interested in what's happening to Desmond and what previously happened to Subject 16, which ultimately is a very small part of the game. My interest in playing dropped substantially once I'd found and solved the last of Subject 16's creepy little puzzles.

(I keep thinking 'oh, it could be fun to write crossovers involving the Bleeding Effect!' and then remembering that that's only really possible in canons where we know a substantial amount about a character's ancestry, of which there are relatively few. Blast!)

It was still a great game, though, and I like that it enabled me to say 'I'm just going to murder the Pope' to my housemate.

The gorgeous soundtrack may have been my favourite part. It actually kept me from getting too frustrated at multiple points. 'I keep failing this race? Well, at least I get to listen to "The Venice Rooftops" every time I retry!' 'The game's glitched and won't let me escape these guards? Fantastic; that means it won't stop playing "Venice Escape"!' And then, of course, there's the wonderful 'Ezio's Family' over the credits.

So far, I'm not sure anything in a videogame has scared me as much as that terrifying moment when I thought I was going to miss my opportunity to hug Leonardo da Vinci. I'd set the controller down for the cutscene! I wasn't expecting a quick-time event! Fortunately, I caught it just in time. (Why doesn't every game have a 'hug Leonardo da Vinci' button?)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
This video, in which two old men re-enact a YouTube argument about One Direction, is probably the only good thing ever to be spawned by the hell that is the YouTube comments section. I laughed extremely hard.

It also, although I didn't realise this at first on account of being terrible with faces, features one of the actors from my mother's play, which is on in Hammersmith until this Saturday! SO I SUPPOSE YOU KNOW WHICH PLAY YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SEE IF YOU WANT TO GET HIS AUTOGRAPH.

There is a strong possibility that I have played Final Fantasy VIII too many times. I started it after completing Final Fantasy VII (at last! I thought I was doomed never to finish that game, what with malfunctioning memory cards ruining my first playthrough and my own malfunctioning memory meaning I completely forgot where I was supposed to be going on my second, but it finally happened), because it seemed a logical next step, and I was quite unsettled to realise that I knew every event of the first few hours in advance. I knew the gist of every conversation in advance. I knew the name of every monster on the island of Balamb, taking the Fire Cavern and Training Centre into account, and I can probably name quite a large percentage of the monsters in the wider world as well. (For context: I've just finished Final Fantasy VII, and the only non-boss enemies in that game I can name are 'Jumping' and 'Soldier (2nd Class)'.)

Final Fantasy VIII isn't my favourite game. It's not even my favourite Final Fantasy. But it has had an immense impact on my life; I think Pokémon is the only other work of fiction that's had a comparable effect. I have no idea who or where I'd be without it.

That isn't an exaggeration. This game helped me learn to empathise with other people; by presenting me with Squall, a character whose thoughts and feelings I could understand, it helped me realise that the thoughts and feelings of other people didn't have to be an impenetrable mystery. It's also indirectly the reason I started keeping a blog, and I currently live with a friend I made through Livejournal. Goodness knows what's going on in the parallel universe in which I never played it. I'm probably on my third Nobel Prize by now, considering all the time I haven't been wasting on things like blogging and videogames and friendship.

I love Zell's anxiety when it looks like you're about to take Selphie's shortcut in the field exam. 'Squall... You're not gonna... It's a cliff, man...' Bless him. He may not always think things through, but he can be surprisingly sensible sometimes, and his moments of concern always make me smile. I want to be friends with him.

To jump ahead in the game a bit: I think my very favourite dialogue option in Final Fantasy VIII is one that comes up when Squall and Rinoa are reunited, if you sent Rinoa to the missile base (I don't usually send her there, as you miss out on some scenes if you do, so - tragically - I don't often get the opportunity to see this):

Rinoa: I miss'd ya. ...You know, I thought I was gonna die at the missile base. ...That's when I really missed you.
Squall: .........
Squall: Why?

rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
People of London! Are you wondering how to fill your evenings from now until the 30th of November? Do you like plays? Do you like singing? Do you like my mother? (You should.)

My mother has written a play! It is called Dress Rehearsal, because she evidently doesn't understand the importance of easily-Googleable titles, and it's currently being performed in a pub in Hammersmith. It's about a group of pub performers, appropriately enough, and all the feuds and tensions seething behind the scenes. It has opera numbers and a great deal of humour and the most amazing feathery waistcoat you've ever seen. It's a lot of fun!

'Riona,' you may say, frowning, 'isn't there the slightest chance that you're biased because your mother wrote it?' In response to which I offer the following rave review from a drunk man who experienced it last night: 'THAT WAS BETTER THAN THE TELLY! It's better than the telly!' I'm fairly certain you don't get more authoritative than that. After press night tomorrow, if you're still not satisfied, we may even have rave reviews from non-drunk people! (On a related note, you are required to very obviously enjoy yourself if you go tomorrow.)

Dress Rehearsal is on until the 30th at The Distillers in Hammersmith (64 Fulham Palace Road, W6 9PH), in the Regal Room. It's at 7.30 every evening from Tuesday to Saturday, with an additional 3.00 matinée on Saturdays. You can buy tickets here or on the door. If you like it, excellent! Tell my mum; she'll be thrilled. If you don't like it, I suppose you'll just have to watch it again until you do.

(Fair warning, because I know some of you don't like being touched: the room is set up so there are pub tables and stools in the middle, and some benches around the outside. If you sit at one of the tables, you become part of the set and the actors may interact with you during the musical numbers (e.g. hide behind you, pretend to cut your hair during the aria from The Barber of Seville etc.). If you'd prefer to avoid this, stay away from the tables; sit on one of the benches at the side or in the line of chairs to the left of the stage.)
rionaleonhart: friendship is magic: rarity looks horrified. (oh no no no)
So everyone's (or at least my) favourite terrible school drama, Waterloo Road, is back! The first episode of Series Eight wasn't one of its best, but I have to give it credit for compressing an entire series of Waterloo Road into a single hour.

Seriously, it had

- death (well, a death that happened some time ago, but we learnt about it in this episode)
- false drug-related accusations
- secretly homeless pupils
- incredibly unhealthy relationships
- fire
- pregnancy
- theft
- Tom manhandling a fighty pupil
- attempted murder
- someone getting arrested
- someone being hospitalised
- a threat to the future of the school
- the implied beginnings of a love triangle
- alcoholism

and probably other things I'm forgetting. Throw in 'teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with a pupil' and 'schizophrenia' and you've got every Waterloo Road plot ever in one episode.

On the incredibly excellent side, it looks like there's a good chance Josh and Tariq may form a friendship! This is all I want. On the less positive side, Josh has cut his lovely hair too short again. I TOLD YOU TO STOP DOING THAT, JOSH.

Halfway through the episode, I found I couldn't stop envisioning a Dangan Ronpa scenario set in Waterloo Road. It could actually work really well. Would it just be the pupils, or would teachers and pupils alike be at the mercy of Monobear and each other?

Er, perhaps I need to stop crossing Waterloo Road over with things in which teenagers murder each other.

(Speaking of my tendency to cross things over all over the place: a while ago, my brother brought up my My Little Pony/Merlin crossover and implied that there was rampant sex in it.

'There was no sex in that crossover!' I objected. 'It was entirely innocent!'

He stared at me. 'What are you talking about? I was just making that up to make fun of you - you've actually written a crossover between My Little Pony and Merlin?'

And of course I had. Whoops.)
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
Hello! Sorry I went quiet for a while; I've actually been on holiday in Italy with my family for the past couple of weeks. It was good fun, although it turns out that it only takes finding one scorpion in your bedroom for you to start thinking of your bedroom as a seething nest of scorpions.

Tradition has it that I write up things that amused me during the holiday, so here you go! Cast: Harriet (me), Mum (my mother), Dad (my father), Joseph and Fred (my two younger brothers), Eleanor (Joseph's girlfriend), my uncle Tim, my aunt Pat, my cousin Patrick and Patrick's girlfriend Lily.

Alarmingly, my last entry of family holiday adventures had a couple of readers 'shipping my brothers. I fear this one will do nothing to deter them.

Out-of-Context Theatre:

Harriet: (to Eleanor) What I'm saying is that there's absolutely no need for you to worry about your weight, and also that I keep accidentally stealing your pants.

Family adventures in Italy! )

My family and associates were aware that a write-up of the holiday would appear on my blog, so whenever I started writing in my notebook they'd all go 'wait, why are you writing? Is this going on your blog? Have we been funny?'

Eleanor: What are you writing? Have we done something amusing now? Shall I dance up and down like a monkey? I can lick you.

Towards the end of the holiday, I expressed the concern that I might not have enough material.

Eleanor: Harriet says we might not have been entertaining enough to appear on her blog.
Mum: Oh no!
Eleanor: Although, to be fair, I think we're at least more entertaining than Final Fantasy fanfiction.
Joseph: Yeah, Harriet, some of the stuff that appears on your blog...

Speaking of which, I spent quite a bit of the holiday working on a Final Fantasy VIII/Final Fantasy XIII crossover AU. It's going to have to be chaptered, I think. My record for finishing chaptered fanfiction is notoriously poor, but I've already written the ending, so at least I know what I'm aiming for. Fingers crossed!
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
On Easter Day, I saw my brother. We sat down at a table, and he turned to me. 'So,' he said. 'I notice that your recent entries have been exclusively about Waterloo Road. What the fuck?'

He implored me to think of my readers. Sorry, readers; here are six thousand words of Waterloo Road fanfiction.

Title: So Talk
Fandom: Waterloo Road
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 6,200
Summary: What if Matt had still been teaching at the school when Josh came out? In which friendships are forged, lessons are (possibly) learnt and an offer of support goes badly wrong.

So Talk )
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (um what)
[ profile] pinkfinity has created a Sherlock-verse Moriarty/Sherlock fanvid set to 'Girlfriend' by Avril Lavigne. As you have probably already guessed from that frankly beautiful combination of song and subject matter, it is the greatest fanvid ever made. Moriarty is definitely the motherfucking princess.

For Christmas, my brother got me the Undead Nightmare add-on for Red Dead Redemption, in which the Old West is overrun by zombies. I love that it doesn't take itself even remotely seriously; it actually opens with a dramatic voiceover and an evil laugh. The Bonnie mission still broke my heart, though.

Sometimes, when you're wandering around in the original Red Dead Redemption, you'll come across someone sobbing over a body. When I found a man crying over a dead friend in Undead Nightmare, I stopped to watch for a moment. Suddenly, the friend leapt up with a bloodthirsty roar and the man, startled, shot him in the head. So many little details!

Something about John Marston that the add-on reinforces, and which has always intrigued me, is how very credulous he is. He'll shoot a man, sure, but he ain't gonna lie to his face, and he expects the same courtesy from everyone he meets. He'll firmly believe the first version of a story he hears, no matter how dodgy the circumstances seem; tell him you were attacked by the unarmed terrified man running away from you, and he will tie up that man, bring him to your feet and remain convinced that this was the correct decision right up until you pull out a knife and fork. I imagine he would have far more respect for a murderer than for a conman.

Whilst I'm talking about Red Dead Redemption (the original game, not Undead Nightmare): my brother Joseph hates Jack. In a late-game mission, when Jack was injured and riding with John on his horse, Joseph spurred the horse until it threw them both off, then remounted and rode slightly ahead of Jack for the rest of the way, forcing Jack to limp behind the horse all the way back to the farm. Everything John said to Jack after that felt like thinly-disguised loathing.

Also, Joseph once encountered two marshals at the entrance to Tall Trees and followed them to see where they would go. They must be programmed to enter the nearest settlement when followed, because they walked into his farm and started cleaning the windows and looking through the drawers. They were still there the next in-game day. It was really creepy.

(I once took a stagecoach to the farm and whistled for my horse as the stagecoach was driving away. The stagecoach stopped, evidently thinking I had whistled for it. I didn't have any way of saying 'no, stagecoach, it's fine, you can leave now', so I just went to my in-game bed.

When I walked out of the front door the next morning, the coach was still there. The stagecoach horses had disappeared, the stagecoach driver was running away screaming, and as I watched, completely bewildered, the empty stagecoach trundled down the slope until it crashed into my fence.

What on Earth happened? I suppose I'll never know.)
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 [ 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?':



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: final fantasy xv: prompto, the best character, with a touch of swagger. (looking ahead)
Here is an entry of scattered points:

– Out and about last night, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a young man who looked a bit like Robert Pattinson. He could conceivably, given that Pattinson grew up around here, have been Robert Pattinson. Was he Robert Pattinson? I suppose I'll never know.

– I've been sort of half-watching the current series of Strictly Come Dancing; my mother's been watching it and, although I have no real interest in or understanding of dance, I've often hung around while it's been on. I am even half-supporting a particular couple: Alex and James. I told my mum that I'd just arbitrarily picked a couple to support, but yesterday I confessed to the real reason:

Riona: I think they first caught my attention because I think he fancies her.
Riona's Mum: It's funny you should say that, because his partner last year was Pamela Stephenson, and she was quite old, and it definitely seemed like he fancied her. Maybe he just gives that impression.
Riona: Or maybe he just fancies everyone.

You're lucky I don't have any grasp of James' voice at all, because otherwise I'd be writing terrible angstfic about how he constantly contrives to fall in love with his partners, thus improving the chemistry of their dances but breaking his own heart. YOU'RE LUCKY.

(The other reason to watch Strictly is Bruno Tonioli, one of the judges, who is gloriously barking mad.)

– Curious scene in our sitting room recently: Joseph, wearing no trousers, leap-piggybacked onto Fred, whose trousers fell down in the process. At this point Dad entered the room, wearing an enormous furry hat and no trousers.

My family.

(Er, I should probably point out that they were all wearing boxers, so their nethers weren't entirely unclad. Also, Joseph is about six foot two, so having him leap onto your back is quite an event.)

– Yesterday I had to e-mail a company that had sent me some work to ask whether we could agree on a per-word rate, rather than their usual per-page, because it was set in a considerably larger page size than usual and so I'd have been paid a third less than my usual rate (I'd be losing about £170). I feel weirdly awful and guilty about asking, even though it's an entirely reasonable thing to request. And it was on Friday evening so I probably won't know whether they'll agree until Monday, augh.

– Whoops, every single image in my Misfits picture folder is of Seth. In my defence: his face.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
Am I the last person in the world to discover 3D photographs? These are so cool. The viewing technique reminds me a bit of Magic Eye pictures, so if you know how to see those you may have a head-start. Human vision is crazy!

On a less positive note: why is there so much Final Fantasy XIII fanart in which Hope is a big manly man and Lightning is blushingly submitting to him? No, seriously, I do not understand. This Hope? This Lightning? Really?

Hope Seduces Lightning: A Fic

Hope: Uh... Light? I was wondering - is it okay if I ask you something?
Lightning: Hm?
Hope: ...uh, never mind.

I learnt recently that Hope's voice actor also voices Phineas Flynn in Phineas and Ferb. This is delightful to me. I want Phineas to meet Hope and teach him about making the most of every day. There's a hundred and four days of Focus-pursuing; Cie'thhood comes along just to end it...

In subsequent poking through voice credentials, I also discovered that Snow's voice actor is voicing James Sunderland in an HD rerelease of Silent Hill 2. I don't know whether to be terrified or laugh forever. Has anyone written fanfiction in which Snow heads into Silent Hill to find Serah? Do it now; I'll wait. (I went to see if I could find anything about the remake on YouTube, and I found this preview, if anyone's curious about the new voices.)

Come to think of it, Cie'th wouldn't be at all out of place in Silent Hill. (Those Seekers? The monsters that basically consist of a head and an arm? I freaked out when one dropped a Cie'th Tear and I realised it had been a person once.) It's generally tougher to write Silent Hill crossovers with a character that already has experience of the horrific. Plus, although Snow certainly has psychological weak spots into which the town could twist a sharpened paperclip, I'm having trouble imagining why it would want to. Not a man with much darkness in his soul, Snow Villiers.

I think what I've learnt today is that 'shared voice actors' does not necessarily an unshakable foundation for a crossover make.

But it's still an awfully tempting one.

(EDIT: Today, I asked my brother to put some plates in the washing machine.

He did exactly that.

I really need to think more before I speak.)
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
I like Fang a lot more now that I'm actually playing Final Fantasy XIII than I did when I was merely watching it; not that I ever disliked her, but she makes sense to me now in a way that she didn't before. This is largely because of the things she says when you have her in your party (I seem to have adopted Lightning, Fang and Sazh as my primary team), but the actual gameplay mechanics don't hurt. I love that she obviously went to the game developers and said, 'So, what sort of Strength stat are you thinking of for me? Ha, that's cute. Double it and then we'll talk.' (Seriously, Fang's Strength stat is ridiculous.)

Perhaps it just took me a while to fully come around to her because, although her voice is great, I feel that her voice actress sometimes emphasises things oddly. In any case, I am now thoroughly in favour of Fang.

Also on videogames: my brother bought a copy of Red Dead Redemption recently, so I've started up a save file on that, although I'm only about an hour in. What a gorgeous environment. There's a detailed day-night cycle - there are dawns and dusks, midnights and mornings - and somehow every moment is beautiful (via [ profile] fireholly: there's a time-lapse video of various vistas here). The first time I touched the game, it was on my brother's save, and I manoeuvred Marston out of town just to watch the sunrise.

And then, as I was waiting, a nun came up and gave me a little gold statuette, and I decided that I needed to play this game myself. I don't know! I was weirdly touched!

I'm being completely honourable; given the choice in a game between doing good things and doing bad things, I'll almost always go for the good things, particularly if there are long-term effects on how characters respond to you. Being awful to people makes me sad, even if they are pixellated people! My brothers have no such qualms and will happily tie civilians onto train tracks.

I sort of wish I didn't have all these hangups about doing bad things even in a videogame, because, you know, when Marston ties people up? It's sort of the hottest thing ever. I suppose I'll probably be able to truss up bandits and the like without sacrificing my honour, but I do sort of want to make Marston tie everyone up indiscriminately.

...please stop judging me.
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: top gear: the start button on a bugatti veyron. (going down tonight)
So I've been missing for the past week! This is not because of the riots, but because my family and I have been touring the north-west of England. It was a holiday somewhat blighted by poor weather and ill health (I write to you whilst feeling as if I swallowed a cheese grater at every town we visited), but it was still good fun.

The cast of this entry: me, my mum, my dad and my two younger brothers, Joseph and Fred.

A lovely friend of Fred's agreed to feed our two cats in our absence despite being allergic to cats. Dad left a note telling him where to find the cat food. I left a note warning him that one of the cats had a habit of trying to eat the other's meals. Fred left a note that, well...

Hey [friend], whats up?! Sometimes the cats need you to rub their fur in your eyes so they feel comfortable eating around you. THANKS!

He also left a note on the staircase: WHY are you going upstairs?!! >:(

I don't feel well enough for a full writeup of our adventures just yet, so this entry is dedicated to the terrible limericks we created in the car.

There once was a pop star named Britney/Who asked all the babies to hit me. )

I'll try to get a proper writeup done over the next couple of days. I hope you're all well, and that the riots didn't impact too heavily on you!
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (i'm here now)
In the comments to my entry on Rogue/Logan, some people referred to the pairing as canonically unrequited. I was genuinely confused before I realised that 'LOGAN WANTS ROGUE JUST AS MUCH AS OR POSSIBLY MORE THAN ROGUE WANTS HIM; HE'S JUST BETTER AT HIDING IT' was how the films were filtered in my head rather than actually canonically stated.

But things become so much more interesting when you look at X2 through that lens! The scene where Bobby introduces himself as Rogue's boyfriend, for example, is fascinating, particularly Logan asking Bobby, 'Boyfriend, huh? So how do you two...?' (which, by the way, Logan, is a really inappropriate question, although I suppose your personal investment in knowing the answer may have imprisoned whatever sense of propriety you have). Logan's freaked-out reaction to Mystique becoming Rogue is much more interesting as a combination of longing and denial and self-loathing than as a simple 'WELL THAT'S WRONG'.

Not that I'm saying you have to 'ship it, obviously! I'm just saying that I'm watching a better film than you are, nyah nyah nyah.

I've been hunting for Rogan/Logue - hang on, no (that was a genuine error; why are your names so similar, guys?) - Rogue/Logan images recently. Beneath the cut is a scan I was very pleased to come across, from X-Men #169.

Who needs context? (Warning: Logan is alarmingly muscular and wearing an alarmingly arse-defining outfit.) )

And now to videogames!

Question: Riona, why did you buy a third-person shooter if you know you're terrible at shooting games?
Answer: ...wait, this is a third-person shooter? oh noooo

So, yes, I appear to accidentally be playing Uncharted: Drake's Fortune! I AM SO BAD AT IT. I do not have the patience to hide behind objects and occasionally peek out to shoot at people; I would much rather run up to my enemies and whack them repeatedly with a giant key. What is this 'conserving ammo' nonsense?

Possibly the largest problem so far: when you're on the verge of death in Uncharted, the colour drains out of the screen.

I do my work in a monochrome word processor: grey background, white page, black text.

The first time I opened up the document I was working on after a couple of hours of Uncharted, my mind screamed MONOCHROME SCREEN GET AWAY RECOVER YOUR HEALTH at me.

(Said document was a novel I was editing, which contained a scene in which Cambridge won the annual boat race between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. My family have very strong ties to the University of Oxford. I mentioned this scene to them. Immediately:

Fred: Correct it.
Dad: Change it.
Joseph: Write a note to the author: 'Is this really realistic?')
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (the end)
It was my birthday yesterday, and to celebrate I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II! Here are my thoughts on the film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II. )

Recently, my mother was lamenting the fact that she hadn't thought of starting an 'I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY CHANGED THE ENDING SO RON DIED' Internet rumour before the film had actually been released.

I am from a family of trolls.

Also, her attempt to remember what the Deathly Hallows were after the film: 'So there's the Elder Wand, the Hat of Doom...'
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (let me fix that for you)
My mum, reminiscing about her schooldays: 'We had a groundsman who we all fancied. And then we decided he was full of himself, so we all turned against him and locked him in a shed.'

Torchwood: Miracle Day begins tomorrow in the UK (nine o'clock, BBC One)! I've been a bit torn on whether to watch it, because I really don't know what level of quality to expect from Torchwood (in my opinion, Children of Earth was well worth watching but the first two series were largely dire), but I suppose I have to at least give it a try.

Here are my predictions for Miracle Day, bearing in mind that I know nothing but the basic concept:

- Captain Jack will have sexual tension with at least three characters and will kiss at least one. Large parts of the Jack/Ianto fandom will consider this a personal taunt and write furious screeds.

- The person Jack kisses will be female (or one of the people, if he kisses more than one). Two days later, fandom_wank will report on someone who believes, despite the fact that Jack's sexuality is and always has been 'yes, I'll shag that', that this means Jack is being 'made straight'.

- Captain Jack will make at least three references to previous boyfriends/girlfriends (e.g. 'I once dated a guy with three heads'); one of these will clearly be Ianto, although he won't be referred to by name.

- Myfanwy will be mentioned. Tosh and Owen, sadly, will not.

- The main plot will be resolved in episode four, and the remaining six episodes will be devoted to Jack having time-travelling sky-pirating sexual-tensioning adventures with Balthier and Fran of Final Fantasy XII. Let me dream.

- There will be at least four jokes about Wales, despite the fact that it is no longer set there.

- There will be an average of one explosion per episode.

- Someone will backflip whilst shooting.

- There will be a fight sequence on top of a train. Or on top of an aeroplane, because trains aren't quite ridiculous enough for Torchwood.

- We will learn that Rhys writes fanfiction.

- Rhys will die. I will be extremely distressed by this. In fact, I have quite a specific theory about this: Rhys will be mortally wounded near the end of the series, and Gwen will be forced to undo the 'miracle' knowing that in doing so she will cause his death.

- Oh, hang on, Gwen was pregnant, wasn't she? Gwen has a baby and the baby is you.

Again, these are pure speculation. I've no idea what is going to happen. Let's find out! (Any predictions of your own?)

(I'm being a bit ungenerous to the Torchwood fandom in the first two points, I suspect. This is because I've never really been involved in the fandom, so the only parts I've been exposed to are the really scary parts that occasionally rear up to alarm fandom in general. I'm sure the majority of Torchwood fans are perfectly lovely and reasonable; certainly the ones on my flist are.)