schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (River among trees)
I went bouldering today, for the very first time, together with LB and his friend (who've been doing it for months now.) It was fun! And exhausting. LB warned me I'll be sore tomorrow. I've been running semi-regularly, but I've done almost nothing for my arms the past several years and it's very noticeable… Nothing that can't be fixed, and reaching the top is a great feeling.
I don't think it'll be feasible for me to do hockey this semester/year – once I get a job the likely times of the university courses won't work for me anymore, but the alternatives are more expensive and I don't want to commit to that before I've found a job – so for one year climbing could be a fun alternative, I'll see. On top of that I want to continue running more regularly.

I have a freezer now! I'll be able to store ice cream, and most importantly I can cook in advance and just heat things up when I don't have the energy for cooking. It'll be great.

Quotes of yesterday's D&D session:
"I didn't sell my soul, just my body – wait, that came out wrong."
"I have an idea! …can I have an idea?"
"Trust us, nothing too terrible will happen," after which the whole table laughed.
In summary, my character has now made a (short-term) deal with the succubus possessing her, we (temporarily) turned a vrock demon Lawful Good, there was another healing-via-killing-cannibalism-and-reincarnation, there's a vengeful spirit after us that's attracted to even thoughts of its name, and next time we'll finally enter the haunted library. Probably.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
DD and I went to see "Ghostbusters" yesterday. It was exactly as I hoped for: good entertainment and fun. spoilers )

There is at least one vid already, Cheap Thrills by [personal profile] such_heights. Composed entirely of trailer footage, but I don't think I'd have noticed.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
The vast majority of fiction I've read in the past several years was in English, and mostly fic or science fiction/fantasy. When I started writing the D&D session summaries I noticed that it's been a while since I've written in German, so I decided to read more German books again.

It's surprisingly difficult to find science fiction/fantasy books written in German! Even in bookstores the shelves are full of translations, and there's no filter function for that anywhere, very annoying. There are a couple of German SFF authors, but I already know most of them from when I couldn't read English as well yet. I was disappointed.

One bookstore clerk recommended "Das Licht hinter den Wolken" by Oliver Plaschka. I've read the first few chapters now and I'm not sure I want to continue, I'm not really interested in anyone or anything yet. On top of that, the female main character is called "April." April! It's an English first name, but not a German one. It seems strange every time I read it, why would you do that.
There were a couple of other times too when I read a word and knew which English one would be in its place, and sometimes one language fit better and sometimes the other. That's probably just how it is with languages.

Maybe I'll stick to English science fiction/fantasy and try reading other books in German, maybe the genre switch helps. It's been a while since I've read other genres, might be interesting again.
(Or maybe I'll read Russian books once I figure out the translation function with Russian on my ebook reader, I should try that again...)

Choir week

Aug. 23rd, 2016 02:54 pm
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
I had a lot of fun at choir week! There were many people I knew from past years, and several very nice new people too. I no longer stay up as long as I did in past years, but we still managed to play several rounds of Werewolf at least once, there was even a pubquiz once, and just in general hanging out with people was fun. It wasn't as hot as last year thankfully, when I was barefoot almost the entire time (which was great, except in the forest at midnight without a flashlight.) However this year we missed shooting star week.

Last year in choir we sang almost exclusively classical pieces, like Haydn's kleine Orgelsolomesse and Mozart's Ave Verum. This year there was a bit more variety, but still not as much as in previous years (this was my seventh time attending!) Beautiful pieces though, like Mendelssohn: Jauchzet dem Herrn, Scaldava il sol etc. I also sang in an ensemble that sang mostly sad Renaissance songs, and I did Dance again like every year. We always do very cool stuff, and it's good to give my voice a rest for a few hours.

For the "Bunter Abend" this year I wrote a poem inspired by a line from the voice warm up that morning, "Aunt Anna has an elephant in her tub." I tried to recite it by heart and missed a few lines, but overall it went over well. (Last year I prepared a medley of macabre Viennese folk songs, that was fun. There are many! I included Tauben vergiften, Biddlah Buh, Die Engelmacherin, Da Hofa, Zentralfriedhof, Der Tod muss ein Wiener sein, and two children's songs.)

Apart from the dance performance I wasn't completely happy with most of our concert on Saturday, but perfection isn't really what choir week is about. I stayed up until almost 2:30am and then, disappointed that there wasn't dancing in addition to the live karaoke, went to bed.
Around 3:45 or so (I was told later) I suddenly woke up because the door to my room opened. A fireman in full uniform and helmet stood there, looked at me, said "You can go back to sleep" and closed the door again. I was so confused I did just that.
About an hour later I woke up again because of the loud fire alarm. I was so tired I almost went to sleep again, except then I heard the sirens. Later I learned this is apparently normal in a village for a fire alarm, but for me siren=emergency, so I grabbed my jacket and phone ran downstairs. There were already a couple of other people there who told me that this was the second fire alarm. Apparently I slept through the first one, which is mildly concerning tbh but also funny. Fortunately the firemen were there (again) in five minutes, and instead of fifteen this time they managed to turn off the alarm in five minutes so we could go back to sleep. An alarm malfunction, ugh.
Next day we had warm up at 9 and a mass to sing at 10, with everyone exhausted… Actually it went better than I expected. At least we have a story to tell next year.

It's Tuesday now and I'm still very tired. My new freezer got delivered yesterday but I haven't gotten around to opening it yet, much less do anything more demanding. Clearly I need another nap. And enjoy all the music still in my head :)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
More D&D stuff; almost like doing episode reviews of our weekly game nights, except only a handful other other people have seen the episode and I want to squee about it anyway.

I was DM for the very first time! With almost no preparation, because until right before I'd held out hope that more people would come and we could continue with our usual campaign. Instead there were only three of us, so I led a campaign for the very first time. It was fun!

Details )

Being the DM is work… Fortunately both players enjoyed themselves :) Both said they'd be interested in continuing. CP already has a quest for his character.
It'll be at least two weeks until we play again, which is good because I have time to prepare. If the other players can make it I'd prefer to continue the other campaign, but if not, this is good too.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Thanks for the comments on my last post about meds and stuff. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist the week after. I was feeling good that week, so we agreed on a compromise: I'd keep with the lower dose of antidepressants over the summer, and I'll contact her again when she comes back from vacation in September to see how I feel and if I've made actual tangible progress with my current "project", i.e. job applications. I still think it was a reasonable idea, I really wanted to see if it would work, but so far… well, a little bit, but not to a degree that I'm satisfied with. It changes from week to week, sometimes pretty drastically, and this week is not one of the better ones, but overall I'm not happy with what I've done. So I'll probably go back to the higher dose.
Or maybe I just have too high expectations again, and I feel down because of a few bad days and I'm tired and it'll be better soon, I don't know. It's really annoying that it fluctuates so much. I really should start keeping better track of how I feel; I finally started today, hopefully I'll remember to do it regularly.

Right now I'm annoyed because next week is choir week and I'm not as excited about it as I want to be. I've already been seven times and it's been fun every time, but even knowing that I'll have a good time there, looking ahead it feels tiring. Ah well, it'll be fine once I'm there. There are tiring elements, but singing! And dancing! And more singing! I'm curious about the program already, I'm sure it'll be interesting. I haven't sung in a choir in months, I miss it.
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
My expectations for last session: one or two more battles in the training module, then we go to the library. None of that happened. Instead there were demons, and, uh, some inadvisable actions were taken.

Misleading Episode Title: One Character Was So Angry About His Companion's Unwise Choice in Friends He Killed Himself )

It was suggested that I try to DM a one-off session. I'd love to try it! Coming up with ideas is not the problem, but most of them are much too long for one evening...
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
First Rest
1.2k, gen, post-canon, Weaver & Hunter
Summary: spoilers for the books )

Author's note: This is the story I wanted after finishing the series, so I had to write it myself. Unbetaed; I'm not completely happy with it but close enough, and if I don't post it now I might never.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
- I bought a freezer! They had them at Hofer since yesterday and DD and I had to go to three different stores until we found one left. Soon I can finally buy ice cream reserves!

- I finally tried out the Citybike system. The bikes are nothing special, but there's a stop two minutes from my house and I think it'll be convenient on occasion. I should get my mom's bike helmet, she doesn't need it in Bolivia.

- I wrote almost 2k and finished the D&D session summary, the longest so far. Someone has to do it, and I don't mind, but it's cutting into my story-writing energy. Sure I know what happened, but I still have to put it in words.

- Someone almost ran me over with a car at a crosswalk and my first reaction was to shout "Oida!", that made me feel very Viennese. (Especially as someone who is usually terrible with Viennese dialect. My parents are both from further West, and I'm not good at imitating dialects in general… I do speak Vorarlbergerisch though, which has some similarities with Swiss German and is always fun to surprise people with.)

- I finished watching "Yowamushi Pedal." It's adorable! The rec that made me watch it. I was literally flailing and making high-pitched noises at some points. Team! Friends! Singing!
Some of my favorite things, apart from everything, was spoilers )
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
It's not long ago at all that I went running almost regularly, but it's been two weeks and once I'm even a little out of the rhythm finding the necessary motivation is more difficult. Today I had to because I mentioned it to my dad and he made me commit. Fortunately it was fun again. I went without something to listen to for the first time in a while because a) I was too lazy to look for something and b) it's the ice hockey offseason. Which didn't stop me from using playoff memories for motivation – such a great run :)
The way back to my apartment has an upwards slope so I always hold back when I start, but this time I even did two short fast intervals on my way back. To motivate myself for that I found myself humming the "Love Hime" opening song, the motivational song of the main character from "Yowamushi Pedal", which I started watching a few days ago on a recommendation by [personal profile] naye. It worked *g* Even though I know exactly one word, oh well.

One of my roommates is moving out tomorrow, and to my surprise she just came home. I'm a bit worried it's going to be awkward, but it's only one day so it should be fine. (I often felt awkward around her: she's a few years older, she already worked for a few years and always gave off the impression that she had her shit together, and in comparison I often felt like I didn't measure up. I didn't like it.) There's also still financial details to be settled, hopefully it goes well. Fortunately it's about how much money she'll get back from me and not the other way around; less than she's probably hoping for, but that's not my problem, this is why I was so careful writing the lease.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
Back from a short but great vacation at my grandparents. I caught up with my relatives, enjoyed my grandparents' garden, and on Tuesday we went on a beautiful long hike in the mountains. It's been months since I've last done that, which probably explains why I wasn't careful enough with the sun cream and now have dark red stripes on both lower legs between where the pants ended and the socks began. It's still very visible, but at least it stopped hurting.
Maybe I'll even get around posting pictures this week, the scenery in the Alps is gorgeous. I have many plans to be productive for this week! Let's see how much I'll manage to do.

Friday evening we had four(!) people at our D&D session, more than we had in some time. One of them was a newbie, I'm worried coordinating times and dates will only get more and more complicated… favorite moments from Friday )

On Saturday I was invited to play "Dark Heresy", a Warhammer 40,000 RPG, with some people I didn't know, who turned out to have an extremely impressive collection of games etc. at home and were also very nice and good players. I had fun! First the GM and his girlfriend explained the rules, then we created our characters, then we played one complete adventure. All in all we were there for eleven hours, which was almost a bit too long for me. Near the end the GM obviously shortened some parts because we had trams to catch, and while on the one hand I was sorry to see some things cut short I was also relieved because I was very tired.
I enjoyed looking at the differences between this game and D&D: some details )

We played a crime mystery adventure, which was fun. It even included database searches! I liked how the GM led it, and noting the differences between him and the only DM I knew so far. We had background music the entire time, which was great for the atmosphere. Even light effects when the witch surprised us in the insane asylum (though those were a bit over the top…)
I was invited back for board game evenings – I'm definitely planning to join these – and a longer Dark Heresy game in fall. Not sure yet if I want to join that, the group seems great but I'm not sure I'd enjoy a longer campaign with this game. I'll see.
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
Every time I get into a new fandom I'm a bit worried about annoying everyone with how much I talk about it, on- and offline. By now, after several years, I assume everyone got used to me talking about hockey a lot. Now I've started talking about D&D a lot - I've already explained the game to my mom, told LB and DD about my odd familiars, and I enjoy making "best of last week" posts on DW. Another fandom of a type I'm unfamiliar with, but I'll figure it out.

Things that happened last D&D session:familiars with personalities, surprise dragon, and other fun stuff )

Tomorrow I'm going on vacation visiting my grandparents for a week with LB. We'd talked about it for a while but never specified a date because LB's summer plans were so fluid, so when he called me on Friday (right after I came back from grocery shopping) and suggested next week, it was a surprise. I'm looking forward to seeing my relatives, but I don't think I'll stay long because I currently feel comfortable in Vienna and like there's a lot of stuff I want to do here. How is it already the middle of July? Weird.
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
I enjoyed the first four books mostly because of the worldbuilding. Some character relationships and plot elements were pretty cool, but they weren't my main interest. I really liked the set-up of the world with all the spirits and the hints of what was going on in the background. Fortunately book 5 finally focuses on that, and wow is it dramatic.

spoilers )

Many characters in the series were kind of odd to read about because I could never settle on how I felt about them. Many of them I liked in one book and then a lot less in the next. spoilers )

I read the series in less than a week because I always wanted to know what happened next. I don't think it's one I'll reread (except maybe the last one because I have some vague story ideas), but I enjoyed it.
(Edit: Anyone interested in beta-ing a short post-canon Weaver&Hunter fic?)
schneefink: (Hängebrücke)
When I wasn't distracted by thinking about D&D today, I went into the catacombs below St. Stephen's Cathedral. It was slightly less impressive than I remembered from the last time I was there, about fifteen years ago, but still pretty cool. First all the coffins of the bishops and dukes etc. I learned that for quite some time Austria's emperors were buried in three pieces: their heart in a silver urn in the crypt below St. Augustin's, the rest of their organs in a copper urn below St. Stephen's, and their embalmed bodies in the Imperial Crypt below the Capuchin Church.

Then the area that used to be a common cemetery, but they had to stop using it after forty years because the smell of the decomposing bodies became so bad that they couldn't even use the church anymore. During that time they buried thousands of bodies there, stacking the coffins up to the ceiling in large rooms that they then bricked up. Every once in a while they had criminals come down and open the coffins, clean the bones, and staple them up like firewood to create more space for new coffins.

Last the plague pit, where they just threw in the bodies because there were too many dead to bury them properly. It was weird to think of an underground cemetery having two floors.

There was also this weird moment of "whoa, these are real bones." Some almost intact skeletons, some wild heaps of bones, a very densely stacked wall of bones with some skulls in it. Real bones of real people, very cool feeling of history becoming more tangible.

At the end of the tour our guide recommended that we don't use the exit - uh, what? - because it was pouring outside, so we left via the entrance. When we'd entered the church half an hour earlier it was very hot and humid, but we hadn't expected heavy rain until the evening. St. Stephen's square was basically empty. I knew I was going to be wet anyway; if my sandals hadn't become so slippery when wet that I was afraid to break my ankles, I would have danced in the square just for fun.

Right now I want to visit all the other crypts and catacombs in the city, plus some of the more notable cemeteries. I probably won't get around to many for some time, but still. Catacombs are cool.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Yesterday, of our D&D party of seven, two players showed up. That made some things a bit trickier, like fighting against the undead minotaur - plus our tactics weren't ideal. Now that I think about it, next time I'll try to persuade the DM to let the NPC party member fight with us (she has full plate dragon armor!) I also need to get over my impulse to save spells/recharging amulets for later, if I die there won't be a later.
Fortunately the other player who showed up was AV, he's a good friend and our characters get along well. We're also both spellcasters and researchers, so we finally had the opportunity to do things like "yes we'll sit around in this cave for a day to study magic, what of it." (We just have to pay attention to the calendar because in a few weeks the army will show up...) As a result I finally got to do the familiar ritual! The DM wanted to be mean and make me choose between two awesome familiars, but he didn't know I'd left one feat open because I couldn't decide, so now I have two awesome familiars :D An undead grey kitten and a flying gem bug. This is going to be great.
We also found an alchemy laboratory, ingredients, and a book full of recipes inside a (primitive) bag of holding. Yesss. (Hmm, we are in an area where causality doesn't necessarily apply. We should probably be very careful with alchemy...)

For about a month now I've been doing more detailed summaries of each session for the absent party members. In general we play in German, but with an English rulebook. It's not a problem because we all speak excellent English, but it does lead to situations where it's easier to insert an English word than trying to translate it. A lot of "Du kannst diesen Spell casten" und "ihr findet dort Gauntlets", etc. In many circumstances I dislike this kind of language mishmash, but sometimes it has its uses.
However, written it's horrifying. So when writing the summaries I have to do extra translation work, which is sometimes funny and sometimes just weird. German doesn't really have a word for "familiar." When a witch or wizard has a raven or cat it's just assumed that they are, without having a word for it.
I have so much respect for translators and I never want to do that job.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Who would be Ronon Dex' favorite hockey player? A few years ago maybe Iginla, but now... maybe Ovi? Shea Weber? Jamie Benn? Sid?

My first instinct is that Ronon plays forward, but I could see defense as well. Satedan hockey probably worked a bit differently anyway, maybe a mix between Earth hockey and bandy.
schneefink: Teyla and Sora with drinks, laughing (SGA Teyla and Sora cheerful)
Recently DD and I bemoaned how we're both losing interest in the fic side of hockey fandom, and we both haven't found a new fandom yet. DD mentioned that she's never seen SGA, I have literally 13 pages of bookmarks for fics alone, it's been four years since I watched any of it – so we decided to watch some SGA episodes so I could rec her fanworks :) She's seen the pilot years ago so we started with "Hide and Seek." Right now the next episodes I'm planning to show her are "Underground", "The Storm"&"The Eye", and then I'll see how much she likes it and go from there. It was fun going through the episodes list and explaining to her that yes, there is canon bodyswap, there are canon doppelgangers etc. etc.

DD's main reaction after one episode was "I didn't expect it to be so funny." I'd forgotten how many funny and plain hilarious moments SGA has in every episode. I can think of other space shows that are funny, but not like that. There must be some though, maybe anime?, idk.

Other things, I'm annoyed because our DM switched our D&D session from Friday to Saturday. I said I could do Saturday if necessary but actually I don't want to, because otherwise on Saturday I wanted to go to a Silent Disco. I've never been and I think it could be fun. Otoh, undead and shapeshifters and treasure… I should just have said I can't do Saturday instead of trying to be accommodating, ugh.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Unbowed by [ profile] LSeale (Original)
183k, slash, a/b/(o) catpeople
Summary:The Kotka of Feyn are a cat-like species with a unique biological development - they are born either alpha or beta, dominant or submissive. The vast desert empire of Akansha has enjoyed an unbroken dynasty for several centuries, but a series of scandals in the royal family has left the youngest son, Tallyn, as the only available heir. There's one small problem though - Tallyn is a beta, and nobody can know.
Why I loved it: This story has political intrigues, the protagonist taking on an unfair system/society and winning, and on top of that relationships of all kinds (family, romantic etc.) that I enjoyed a lot. Excellent.
Note: usually I don't like reccing things right after I read them because I worry I can't say objectively how good it is (which is bullshit, if it's good enough to draw me in like that it's good enough to be recced but still), but the author plans to take this story offline soon to eventually publish it, so if you want to read it later download it while you still can.

As Is the Sea Marvelous by [ profile] blackkat (Naruto)
59k, pre-Madara/Tobirama (+others), angst
Summary: Tobirama is willing to give absolutely anything for Hashirama and his dream.
Why I loved it: blackkat is one of my favorite Naruto writers (for example her latest time-travel WIP reverse is also a ton of fun so far, and she is great with rarepairs), and this one is definitely one of my favorites. So much delicious angst! Tobirama decides he'll let Madara kill him so that Madara forgives Hashirama for Tobirama killing Izuna, as a huge fan of self-sacrifice stories this was id candy from the start. There are explorations of the values of peace vs. family and what they're worth, and there's the hope for a much happier outcome than in canon. On top of all the angst, in the second half this story is also fun ("Tweet.")

Reckless Captain by [ profile] WerewolvesAreReal (Temeraire)
19k, gen, human-dragon-reversal AU
Summary: The Regal Copper Laurentius accidentally acquires a captain, Tharkay spectates, Temeraire is Not Actually an Orphan, and no one really knows who's leading France. Someone should probably get on that, considering England is at war with the place.
Why I loved it: The humans as dragons and the dragons as humans work so well here, it's amazing. I didn't think I could be even more fond of Temeraire or Tharkay, but this fic managed.
schneefink: Parker grinning, from First David Job (Parker smiling before jumping off a buil)
More D&D developments from the last two sessions: We interrogated a soldier and got a lot of information about the time-travel ritual taking place one month from now, and the huge army assembling. (Against my protest, other party members then killed our captive.) We fought dragons, encountered undead and fought one of them, and just found out that we'll have to deal with shapeshifters that lay eggs like parasitic wasps, i.e. inside their victim's body, and that in a mountain where causality doesn't apply. Fun! I of course remembered the One Piece Alabasta arc and insisted we all agree on secret signs to make sure we recognize each other if shapeshifters try to imitate one of us. I don't even know if they're the kind of shapeshifters that can do that, but better safe than sorry.

Most of our party woke up with no personal memories, so it's been fun trying to develop personalities, just seeing where it takes us. For example my character was the victim of a charm-spell early on, found out, and that's only cemented her dislike for anyone trying to tell her what to do (including the god who animated her in the first place, presumably for a reason she doesn't know.) My character is loyal to those who help her, but holds grudges and gets frustrated quickly. She's generally nice to people and willing to help, but if it comes down to it self-preservation trumps that. She's curious, and she thinks tricks and finesse are more interesting than huge swords and fireballs (though she found out that fireballs can be very handy.) We talked about alignments today and I agreed with our DM that she's currently Chaotic Good.
She's also one of the few party members without a specialized class yet, she's still "generic spellcaster." Picking things is hard! Choosing new spells is difficult enough at every new level.

Next time: explore the mountain full of undead and possibly shapeshifters to discover and recover the magical jewel hidden within. Let's see which surprises come next.


schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)

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