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Today was a nice quiet day.

I make egg and English muffin and cheese sandwich for breakfast with cranberry orange tea – I do like weekend breakfasts. I have oatmeal on a regular day but weekends are either a bagel with cream cheese or I make an egg.

When I called Sveta yesterday to wish her a happy birthday we arranged a Skype date for today and it was great to talk to her. Next time she’ll hook up her camera too.

Then I was cross stitching for a long time – more than two hours, maybe even three. I just got into the cross stitching mood, put on Russian rock music and didn’t want to stop. I do tend to relax on weekends best when cross stitching and I won’t have time tomorrow since I’m going to the city for an exhibition and lunch with the girls. (when I say ‘city’ I mean Manhattan as everyone from New York City does)

In the afternoon I watched “Countrycide” the creepiest and more horror filled episode of “Torchwood” from Season 1. I don’t like horror in general and that episode was very disturbing but I really felt like rewatching it. This season is definitely much better on the rewatch, I think because I like the characters more now.

Then I braved the cold. The last Buffy: Season 8 comic came out on Wednesday and I’ve been meaning to go pick it up but with work and snow I didn’t have time until tonight. It was 24F outside and it was about an hour walk overall so I bundled up and just went for it. My nose got cold but it was ok walk otherwise.

Buffy Season 8 #40 )

This evening I was putting up more sources and articles on the website for my Global history class. This was a fun site I found for Ancient India, with lots of slides.

Exercise: one hour walk
Cross stitch: light green and green, light yellow and yellow to finish little bear’s jumpsuit and paws and some blue color.
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Yesterday’s search for my historical atlas, inspired me to go through my Box of Crap and actually throw out anything that was not necessary anymore like old book catalogues. I also putting everything that was left in the box in some better order.

I went to the postoffice/library/comic book store walk this afternoon and by the library there was this gigantic dog, the size of the horse. (Strangely enough I’m not that afraid of really big dogs). This dog was ridiculously huge.

Buffy Season 8 #39 )

Coldplay's “Christmas Lights” music video.

As I was flipping to “Community” during a commercial break on “Bones” I caught them giving a shout out to “Farscape.” That was awesome! Can’t wait for the whole episode tomorrow. I’m not going to do “Bones” reviews that much anymore; it is just a regular show now. I can really like Hannah and her relationship with Booth except that the writers set that whole relationship up as a place holder. I really wish they could just leave Booth and Brennan separate. Next week, angst. I would watch “Community” instead of “Bones” at 8pm except that I actually like watching my comedies online with fewer commercials.
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Happy birthday, Marianna!

Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for literature this morning. I have never read his work. Papa read one of his books a long time ago in Russia and he really liked it. I think I will go through Amazon’s author’s page and pick one of his books to read sometime soon – they do sound interesting.

Hee. Lifetime is making a reality show about Brighton Beach . Brighton Beach is a center of the Russian-American community in Brooklyn. It is a long avenue with some side streets that has lots of food stores and an awesome Russian bookstore and other stores and some fancy restaurants. A subway passes over it and that adds character. There is also a nice boardwalk and an actual beach that is quite popular in the summer. My parents and I visit there occasionally when we go to visit my grandparents in Brooklyn. I find the idea of a reality show based there very amusing. I might even check it out.

I saw today that “Battlestar Gallactica” is now on Netflix Instant Play. Well, at least it will be easy to rewatch my favorite scene when they crawl into my head.

Buffy Season 8 #37 )

Bones S6E3 )
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First of September – throughout my life it was always a very significant day since it always marked the first day of school in my childhood. We put on the white apron with our uniform, not the black of regular day and we brought flowers for the teacher. Part of the reason I always wanted to be a teacher, I think, was because of that day full of flowers.

I got a haircut today. My hair is shorter now – shoulder length now with nice layers. Mama found this new hairdresser fairly close to us that she actually liked, which is hard to believe. Usually Mama hates her haircut after a day. So she made an appointment for me today and there was an opening. I like her and I really like the haircut, especially since she specifically made it so I won’t have to do much to style it or anything, since I don’t. I wash my hair and I brush it in the morning. I really don’t want to spend more time on it than that.

Buffy Comic S8 Issue 36 )

Highlander S5 E3,4 )

Bear is actually planning a trip to Montauk later in the year. That is unusual Bear behavior but I’m really glad he is finally planning something and we can get away, just the two of us.

8 Elul/18 August, 2010

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 11:00 pm
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I walked to the comic book store today to get the “Riley” one-shot. It was a decent issue, mostly about Riley and Sam relationship and some about Angel’s terrible decision to be Twilight. That whole storyline still makes no sense to me.

‘Angel’ comic license is going back to Dark Horse. Maybe they will finally coordinate the two series, although I’ve had no interest in “Angel” series that is not written by Brian Lynch..

Highlander. “Colonel” Ah, Joe. Really interfering this time. Good thing for Duncan too. And Mac buying him a drink at the end. Smart villain in the episode too, with motivations. He might have been insane but he did have a proper grudge.

“Reluctant Heroes” Just when I think ‘how nice, they have a female FBI agent when they could have easily had a man’ it turns out that they needed a woman to have an affair with the Immortal and be all ‘in-love’ and with poor judgment. You can do better, show. Duncan’s motivations are not always pure, and I’m glad for once Richie called him on it and made him testify.

22 Iyar/6 May, 2010

Thursday, May 6th, 2010 11:00 pm
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Bones S5E20 )

A new study on Neanderthal genes that found that some humans are related to Neanderthals. One of my high school science teachers was crazy about Neanderthals – he had a special extra credit week about them and even showed us “Clan of the Cave Bear” to my discomfort – I was very young and that movie has some explicit scenes. I should probably rewatch that movie now that I won’t be embarrassed to watch it.

The flood in Nashville looks crazy.

Jon Stewart mocking political jargon and meaningless rhetorical phrases like “American people want” and even using a clip from X-men how “American People don’t want their children to be taught by mutants” is priceless.

The talk with editor of Newsweek made me think of the last time I bought print media. I read USA Today online every day and sometimes I would buy it for the train; but when I was in England I always looked forward to Sunday so I could get the Sunday Times and read their Art and Entertainment section. There were wonderful book reviews and movie review and I still remember an article on “Serenity” and an interview with Joss Whedon. I didn’t know anything about “Firefly” yet and only seen some random episodes of “Buffy” on TV (I only really watched “Buffy” consistently in the fall of 2005). I do miss that newspaper and the whole Sunday routine.

Following the British election tonight – what will happen with Hung Parliament is an interesting quesion. I was looking at map of Britain with Times Online Election Center . I looked up all Norfolk and London – both places where I used to live. And just as with milk cartoon colors, it is the opposite in UK – conservatives are blue there and labour is red, while in US conservatives are red. I was watching some results coming in live on BBC online as well – in the middle of the night in England. I don’t know why it is so fascinating but it is. It will be fascinating to see three party system at work.

English Department just emailed me to check if their scheduling for me for Fall semester will work. Nice of them of check, actually. This means that Fall Semester is set. Tuesdays and Fridays will be early to rise. Yay.

The prettiness of Buffy #36 cover, with Spike . They better fix the eyes to blue. And a second cover – a parody on Twilight movies.

“Dune.” I was all slowly getting into the story, ignoring all the gender implications, so I could just enjoy the story. I liked that the traitor had complex motivations and he was not just randomly corrupted and there were some interesting developments and action. And then I read that the Evil guy on top of being very Evil, is also homosexual which was not described as a flattering characteristic. It feels like the author wanted to emphasize the character’s Evilness so he decided to add this little detail. Just so you don’t start admiring the intelligence of the Evil character, note that he likes young men, preferably enslaved and drugged so they wouldn’t ‘wrestle’ when the Evil guy was just in the mood for gay rape. Congratulations, book, on more clichés and appalling characterization. I’m almost done reading the first part of the book, so I will keep reading it, but there is a reason why I’m reading it so slowly. At least I like Lady Jessica character, one of very few female characters so far.

21 Iyar/5 May, 2010

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 11:00 pm
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This is a lovely defense of fanfic . I particularly love that this person pointed out that much of fiction in general is derivative of something. And that people take different things from books and authors can’t control it. Personally, fanfic keeps me still interested in some stories and universes. When we had to wait years between Harry Potter books it was great to have something else to read to pass the time and kept the interest in the stories high. Most fanfic I like is about TV shows, and except for “Harry Potter,” I don’t read that much based on books. But I understand why people feel the need to play with someone else’s world: sometimes fanfic will address the plotholes and consequences the author did not address, or give tragic characters a happier ending or put a couple together who should have been together in canon.

Papa and I actually had a discussion about this after I brought up the recent internet explosion with one author being offended by fanfic. He never read or heard of internet fanfic but he immediately cited unauthorized ‘sequels’ to some Russian sci-fi novels that were deemed perfectly acceptable and in fact are highly regarded. He also agrees that as long as people don’t make money, it is all fair game. He even suggested that authors should use fanfic to advance themselves by holding a contest and publishing best fanfic as that would generate interest. I showed him some websites. Talking to Papa about this is a bit weird, like worlds colliding a bit but it was fun to discuss it.

Bear was a bit tentative about the subject, surprisingly. Being an artist, he understood the point of view of the author who didn’t like fanfiction and preferred that people didn’t play with her characters (people on the internet tend to be respectful of this, but I don’t think they appreciate being called immoral or perverts). He did think she went too far in calling it an immoral enterprise. But Bear himself does many fan video projects in his animation and other pursuits so I found his support of author a bit weird. I do get his point and I agree about respect of the author but there should be some parallel respect for the fanfic writer. They are not writing maliciously.

Buffy Season 8 #35 )

On the way to the comic book store I bought ice-cream cone, mixed with chocolate sprinkles, from an ice-cream truck. I do this about once a year and to me it screams ‘summer is here.’ And, of course, since I was wearing white pants, I got chocolate ice cream all over them. I was not surprised.

I saw Robin Hood trailer when I was watching “Modern Family.” Hee Hee hee. That was so horrible. “The laws of this land enslave people to its king, a king who offers nothing in return” “Freedom” and “liberty” also made an appearance. Really, movie? All that pesky justice system and army to protect against invaders, and a bureaucratic state are just triffles. Should the king sbe democratic, for your ‘freedom’? And King John actually wearing a shiny shiny crown and I’m sure being super evil. Why do you play with middle ages so? “Braveheart” did enough damage with the whole movie based on ridiculous myths and historical inaccuracies. Granted Robin Hood is a myth in the first place, but still can the times be at least not that anachronistic. At least I can mock the trailer. I have no desire to actually watch the movie.

Cover of Lady Gaga’s ‘Alejandro’ with the guy from "Modern Family."

24 Nisan/8 April, 2010

Thursday, April 8th, 2010 11:00 pm
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After three weeks of slow reading I finally finished “Norse Myths.” After weeks of putting it of, I knew I would run out of library renewal so I started reading a story or two in the mornings. I had to return it to the library today. It is not like I was bored or didn’t like the stories. On the contrary, this was a good edition and myths themselves were entertaining and fun. But for some reason my brain refused to just read the book for more than one story at a time. But at least now I feel like I have a nice knowledge of Norse gods and stories. In fact, Odin appears in “Changes” and it was fun to get the references.

I rarely watch “South Park” but sometimes it catches my attention. This is an episode that mocks Facebook and it is hilarious. My parents sit on the Russian social networking site (classmates caught on big time a few years ago) and it is funny how far they get into it. I refuse to be on those sites because, first of all, I don’t want my students to access it and, second, I really don’t need to waste time like that, I have enough timewasters. And most importantly I really don’t want my personal information out there anymore than it has to be.

Buffy Season 8 Comic Book 34 )

Bones S5E16 )

I stopped by the library and comic book store on the way to the beach to ride a bike (Mama has a bike, and when she rested, I was riding on it). I know I shouldn’t read in the car as I’ll get motion sickness but I couldn’t resist the new Buffy comic. So, as a consequence, I didn’t feel up to rollerblading by the time we got to the beach. So bike for me.

My parents got the “Belarus” guide book just for fun while they were looking for other guidebooks in the library. Hee. It was very amusing. And I discovered that there is now Indian food in Minsk! That is unexpected. Maybe I’ll get to try it.

My parents bought me this beautiful black dress from Ralph Lauren for my upcoming birthday. They decided that I had to try it on now to make sure it fits just in case they had to exchange it, so they had me try it on today. It is perfectly and looks all grown up and fancy. I won’t wear it until June but I am looking forward to showing it off.

Sex and the City 2 trailer
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I walked to the library today, about twenty minutes one way, since there will be a huge snowstorm this weekend that will preclude any walking. Plus I needed to make several stops on the way. I bought a Valentine’s Day card, after looking through a gazillion of very sappy and stupid ones. I decided for silly. I stopped by the bank. The weather was actually very nice and not too cold for a walk.

I returned the fifth Sookie book to the library and picked up the sixth, Definitelly Dead that was waiting for me on hold. I also picked up The North Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland, published in 1980. I’m going to either read the Norse book first or, perhaps, read both, interchangeably. So far I read some of the introduction including a refresher on the Vikings (which just made me want to read the history book I have on Normans in Sicily), the cosmology of Norse universe and some of the pantheon section. I really enjoyed the cosmology section with its nine worlds on three plates/levels held together by the World Tree. There is even a really pretty map in the book. (I found a sort of 3D picture version of it online) It is still sort of heaven/earth/hell cosmology, just ‘heaven’ is just the halls of the gods and some dead special warriors. I like that giants live on mid-level with men and there is a sort of rainbow-bridge connecting top level “Asgard” to mid-level. I’m up to Loki now in the pantheon section. I think I will finish reading this section before I go to sleep tonight and read the rest of the introduction tomorrow. There are 32 myths in the book, followed by a long note on each story. I know I’m in grad school because I will read the notes with the same interest as the myths themselves.

I also picked up the new “Buffy: Season Eight #32” comic book today and it was really, really funny. I don’t think I laughed so much in this comic as when Xander was being such a big nerd in testing Buffy’s superpowers. A lot of dialogue in this month’s installment was just really amusing. Brad Meltzer, who wrote this arc, is a big name in comic books and he knows what he is doing. I’m looking forward to the rest of his arc. For Season 9, though, I will wait for trade paperbacks to read it all at once. This month by month basis is too slow.

I’m quite liking “Caprica” so far. I definitely want to see were the story goes. I actually prefer to watch serialized stories like this on DVD more, but I guess I don’t want to wait and I can watch this for free.
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There was a major 7.0 earthquake in Haiti yesterday. The images of it are pretty devastating because everything is just collapsed and there will be problems for a while with just basic water and food, not to mention shelter. Haiti has been having disaster after disaster lately. Sometimes people’s problems seems so overwhelming.

I need to blog more consistently and not once a week, try to write up all the days as they happen more. I do make little notes every day, but still, I need more discipline, which is always the case lately. Somehow I can’t organize my time anymore. I know I’m capable of it but I need to push myself more.

Soon we will be able to use Wii to stream online Netflix movies on the TV. That should be fun.

Buffy #31“Turbulence” came out today. It is a break between arcs and it is written by Joss. Really nice Xander and Buffy conversation and was just wonderful to see and resolved a lot. I do want this season 8 over already, it is just taking so long. Comic book pace is too glacial for me.

One great thing about Twilight-gate has been hearing from all runners and Joss and getting lots of insider info and through processes and behind the scenes glimpses. And possible future for Spike too! Some fun links resulting from it:

Scott Allie, editor of Dark Horse apology letter

Joss's thoughts on it all. Part I
Part II

really forward (and controversial) speech from IDW writer

Chris Ryall, editor of IDW response to it all.
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Buffy Big Spoiler Scandal of last week or Twilight-gate has been amusing to keep track of especially the publishers’ two mistakes of not just accidentally releasing the spoiler to a limited audience but then confirming it in loud capital letters for all to see and be spoiler accidentally. I clicked on Spoiler link myself when the original link to real covers became available because I really don’t care too much and the identity of Twilight raises more questions anyway. But it was fun to see fandom go nuts and publishers panic and some authors say things they shouldn’t in reply.

House S6E11 )

Why is hell do they need a Spiderman reboot ? Didn’t they have “gritty, contemporary reboot already” set in high school? And I’m too old to be interested in high school movies, not that I’m invested in this franchise in any way. I did enjoy the movies (well, the first two) but I’m not crazy about them. I’ll take X-men any day or Superman.


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