May 30th, 2010

Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

(no subject)

Made it through another batch of Beholder fics! What does that mean? Yes, zilch work on my dissertation! But more importantly, another rec post!

"Fists of Ink" by pale_moonlite. Millicent Bulstrode/Blaise Zabini, Rita Skeeter, Minerva McGonagall/Aurora Sinistra. First, the Rita Skeeter in this story plainly IS Rita Skeeter. Canon Skeeter just skedaddled right out of the nearest copy of GoF and slipped into this story. Second, both Millicent and Blaise are excellent in this piece - you can know it for fact, given that I usually don't pay Slytherins much mind (then hypocritically mention needless House prejudice in the series - I'm consistent, aren't I?). McGonagall and Sinistra share a beautiful romantic and educational cameo that is subtle and divine. This story is full of strong, independent women; for that reason alone it is well worth a read!

"The Days & Nights & All the Hours" by IJ's odogoddess. McGonagall/Hooch, McGonagall/Moody, McGonagall/Snape. If you want your heart broken into a thousand pieces and possibly mended, read this story. It is a tear-jerker. It brings meaning to Hooch's name, explains the mood- and personality-shift behind Moody and is so very Snape yet simultaneously sentimental that it just reaches into hearts no matter how hard. Minerva is a solid (and believably IC) character throughout. Brilliant story!

"Clouds of White" by purplefluffycat. Filius Flitwick/Peter Pettigrew. Another heart-wrenching and surprisingly believable story. I rec'ed another Peter story in my last post; this is equally beautiful and offers a different story to the life of Peter. I love Filius as a well-rounded character with strengths and weaknesses that are not cemented, but merge and mingle - one set can easily become the other. Fascinating tale!

"The Dog's Days of Summer" by IJ's donnaimmaculata. Aunt Muriel/Griphook, Arabella Figg/Arthur Weasley. Yes, that pairing is down correctly. Muriel in this piece is the perfect cantankerous 'old' (as she will endlessly remind you) lady most sensible women long to be (for where is there more freedom than unleashing our sharp tongues with abandon?). Arthur deals with heartbreak and healing. Arabella deals with her cats, which true-to-life have just as much character as any human or goblin. This is a story of serious topics (pain, hard life changes, prejudice, a society healing from great darkness) woven with humour and brilliant lines. The style is fantastic. Check it out, if you are so inclined - but do remember the pairings, for they are not particularly subtle.

"A Small Touch of Luck" by r_grayjoy. Severus Snape/Filius Flitwick. Now, unlike many of the dashing ladies of my flist, I am new to this Snape bandwagon. Previous to this month I would read him occasionally but wouldn't think to seek out a story with him, and would mostly focus on other features of the story. It is fic like this that fosters a new love for his character. I watched him morph from strict snark to realisations and sentimental expression. I enjoyed this new look at old characters. My favourite may have been Flitwick - the grace with which he was described made me smile. I think I can count the number of slash stories I've read on two hands now!

"When Dudley Met Millicent" by IJ's noeon. Millicent/Dudley (background Harry/Dean, Ron/Pansy) Millicent/Dudley (background Harry/Dean, Ron/Pansy). This is another story that offers the opportunity to take a new look at old characters. It's basically all there in the title, save that the catalyst was someone surprising: Harry himself. It was lovely to see new camaraderie between two characters that had previously shared no mutual affection.

Going to leave that to be it for now. May make a personal entry in a bit. Tomorrow I really need to kick my arse into financial forms and dissertation setup. I'm still treading water in the waters of Da Nile, and great Poppy's pants, she's giving me a thrashing!
Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

(no subject)

Today started too early given the time I fell asleep; at least it explains how tired I am today. Well, that and denial is exhausting.

Woke up, read fic. Knock on the door. "One second!" Damned myself for never wearing clothing. Smack, trip, stumble, ow, into a shirt. Damn gravity and floppy shirts for not providing support. Don tighter spaghetti-strap, fumble into nearest PJ bottoms, hurry out. Goodbye to Juliette - lots of big group hugs in the corridor.

Plunked down in the den. Leftover slices of double decadence pizza - mmmmm. Mmmmm! Then a Krispy Kreme cream-filled donut while reading fanfic - more mmmm.

Doctor Who. Lots of wtfery and sadness over the scientist character being killed, as per usual. RIP random kind scientist lizardguy.

Watched my first Eurovision Song Contest, since I missed it last year. Sass and Tinboy played a drinking game and were getting quite drunk; I had a sip of Cactus Jack Apple Sourz when the voting ended and that was it. They kept drinking through the vote section until Tinboy was seeing double and gazing at us with one eye closed each time.

Strange tradition. In my mind Minerva & co. were dressed up like eccentric Muggles in some dyke bar watching (and tearing the mick out of) Eurovision. That got me through. Tinboy was ridiculously drunk by the time it was over and stumbled out of the room, then back to look for an elastic. I gave him my scrunchie before he could look too much; I imagine at that point he was having difficulty spotting his own nose, or at least the one.

Sass and I were worried when he was locked in the loo and not answering, but at last he did. That was an hour ago. When I went downstairs again he was still in the main loo. I brought up a mug of tea and a cup of water for him, brought in the extra mouthwash, cleared his floor, made his bed up and brought him my old blanket. Hopefully some of it will help.

So, for the day, fic: 1, dissertation: 0.

But I've just spent a bit reading through the 'Guide to Part 3 Research Project Work'. It's frustrating how little of it applies to me, but that's my own fault given the topic I picked - not purely experimental and certainly NOT a lab project. Will have to discuss the format of my literature review and the project at large with my supervisor. Nervous. I look like such an underachiever next to Claire, who has been working on it since even before exams ended as a form of procrastination.

Made a 'third year' folder in my uni work folder, and a 'dissertation' folder within. It freaked me out. Deleted my second-year work from my school to do list and replaced it with 'dissertation literature review'. Got more freaked out. Made a 'Goethe's contribution literature review' document with my heading and title - completely freaked out. Thus it all becomes real and denial stops strangling me; unfortunately I'm tossed into something worse.

Here's to avoiding uni panic. I did the unthinkable once this year: I made it through work and exams without a panic attack. I would like to get through my literature review without one. Tomorrow it's time to start going through the actual material and sorting out what I think I should bring up, some ideas for the direction my dissertation could follow.

Part of my brain keeps inquiring, "Why not English, Kiwi? Why didn't you go for English? You're comfortable with English." English, English, English. Yes, I love English. Yes, it's my comfort zone and has been since forever - but that's precisely the problem. I chose a path for uni that specifically was not my comfort zone. This is supposed to be a learning experience. I will let it be that, and thus deal with the discomfort that I consciously chose for myself.

Plus there's the fact that a great English/Literature teacher can inspire a sense of euphoria, yet a terrible one can equally break the spirit and send one straight into the pits of despair. At least I can be a little more apathetic with science and having a teacher I don't particularly enjoy doesn't ruin my relationship with my coping mechanism (writing).

Enough rambling!