schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
"Chameleon Moon" by RoAnna Sylver was recommended to me, I forgot where, as very optimistic apocafic, so I decided to give it a try. The cover is very pretty. I loved all the characters, but unfortunately the worldbuilding and the plot had holes.
Spoilers )


And then instead of more books I'm reading Naruto AUs again, not sure why. This fandom has so many long what-if AUs, it's amazing. I haven't even watched the anime for probably 15 years, and even then not often. There's just something very appealing about magical ninja idfic, it seems.


Most recent D&D campaign developments: Saints )
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
One thing that annoys me about ebooks is that there is no cover blurb. If I don't remember what the book is about from when I got it, I'm going in blind (apart from unreliable cover illustrations.) I just got dozens of new books from this Nebula author showcase Humble Bundle and I have no idea where to even start. So I read more fic instead, also good. (Most) Fics have tags, which is helpful.

This btw also answered a question I'd started to ask myself, about how books are expensive and this month for example I'm already way past what I would have set myself as a reasonable book budget if I had such a thing. I used to illegally download books sometimes (I felt very guilty about it but I was too greedy), but I don't anymore now that I have actual income. I really should set a monthly book budget for myself. I know I'll have enough to read, it's just a matter of withstanding temptation when people rec stuff.

I'm currently trying to reduce my open browser tabs. Including this one I currently have 84 open - which is less than the 97 I had yesterday, so progress. My laptop is a bit slow sometimes and occasionally the browser crashes but overall it's still going really well, despite being 8 years old and me not looking after it well. *pets laptop*
Edit: 76 now. Small steps.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I feel, in good Viennese, "wia daschlogn," i.e. my head weighs a ton and that's after pain pills. I blame the weather, it went from middle of the summer on Friday to autumn on Saturday and then spring today. (Weather forecast: changeable, fuck.) At least it's the weekend and it doesn't matter so much, and in a few minutes I will go to bed. Sleeep.

Today I ran in Vienna's Women's Run, it was nice. 5km, and considering that I didn't train much because my knees hurt if I'm not careful I'm satisfied with my time. Every kilometer I was a little bit faster.

Then I visited my family for lunch & a nap, and when I came home our new roommate Eva offered me still warm apricot pie. We definitely got lucky in the roommate lottery. Then I convinced her to watch her first hockey game, that was fun too. The Pens won 7-0 :) Goals goals goals. And Sweden won gold, capped by attempted goalie murder.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
I read Thick as Thieves today, the newest book in the Queen's Thief series, half of it while at work. Ahem. I knew it was a mistake to start it during my morning commute but my self-control is limited. I re-read The King of Attolia, my favorite of the series, the day before, and then I got too impatient and skipped ahead. Reminder for next time, when I find out that a new installment in a series comes out soon, start re-reading the other books before the new one comes out.

Looks like I never actually posted about the series when I first read it, huh. I found the first two books during my US vacation over a year ago, in two different boxes at a booksale in New Jersey. I did not mean to buy actual physical books while in the US! Going to the booksale had not even been my idea, my aunt was meeting people there. Anyway, I remembered seeing several recs for the series and couldn't resist.

And good thing I had heard of it, otherwise I'm not sure I would have finished the first book, it starts very slowly. Around three quarters in I started to enjoy it a lot, and from then on the series got better and better. Politics, complicated plots and machinations, questioned & shifting & rock-solid loyalties, yes please. Plus a whole lot of competence porn, especially in book 3, yum.

I really enjoyed book 5. I know the author better now, I know her M.O., several later revelations I saw coming early this time, and I still was taken by surprise by a plot twist near the end, kudos. Spoiler ) Pacing- and plot-wise it reminded me the most of the first book, except now I know the political/character backgrounds, so while I found the first book boring at times I really liked this one. I also grew to like Kamet a lot faster than I expected, and I was delighted to find out about the second main character. I was happy about the appearances of the characters I already liked, like Eugenides and Attolia. Spoilers )

I liked the ending, but I had minor complaints. Spoilers )
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I finished the Inda series :)

Book 3, King's Shield:Spoilers )


Book 4, Treason's Shore:
What a ride. I finished this book right before I had to leave the house and unsurprisingly I had trouble shaking it off to think about other things. Whew. That did not end the way I expected. Spoilers )


What I also really liked about all four books, btw, is that not only are queer people everywhere, but there's also a big variety of romantic & sexual relationships, and marriage & romance & sex may be connected, but do not have to be.

In general: I like (most of) the characters a lot and their relationships, I like many tropes that appear & are well executed, and I enjoyed reading the whole series a lot :) Especially from the second book onward.
You might like these books if you enjoy close friendships, close friendships across hierarchy steps, loyalty themes, stories about kingdoms and/or pirates with battles and alliances, romance stories that tie in nicely with everything else without dominating, queer stories, people trying hard to do their best and sometimes failing, a little bit of cool magic but not too much, some other things that I'm forgetting right now; and if you don't mind a slow beginning to the series, an omniscient narrator and frequent PoV switches (give it a try if you're unsure, it works well imo), a main character with some Mary Sue qualities that it might take you a while to warm up to, not overly graphic but still serious depictions of the consequences of battle and war, and probably some other things that I'm forgetting right now. (Writing recs is hard, ask if you want more details, warnings etc.)
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
I recently finished & enjoyed the first two books of the "Inda" series, and I'm currently reading the third. I wanted an distraction while a group of people overseas voted to kill millions of their own citizens, but then the characters rode into battle and I needed a break while worrying about which fictional characters will survive (and how.) Though this fantasy series has fewer and less evil enemies than reality.

The first book, Inda, was enjoyable but not really enthralling. Too much of it felt like set-up. It didn't help that I never really warmed up to the main character. Spoilers )

The second book, The Fox, I did not want to put down once I started, and I finished it in one day at 2am. It has a lot of tropes and character dynamics that I really like, and the plot moved quickly (for ¾ of the book.) Spoilers )

I like the omniscient narrator a lot, I enjoy getting glimpses into different characters' heads during the same scene. I also like the casual household magic in the background, and the natural way queer people are shown as part of the world. I want queer people in all media and everywhere, and I want them to punch dark lords and evil politicians in the face.
Back to the battle.

good steps

May. 2nd, 2017 11:32 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I'm having a few bad days and I'm strangely happy about it. Because currently, a "bad day" is eating late, making avoidable mistakes at work, not doing any household chores, avoiding interactions with multiple people, and only crossing off one item off my to-do list. Bad days used to mean skipping meals, avoiding any interaction with people, and not doing anything except read or surf the internet. Progress!

Things in general are so much easier now that I have an external structure. I always knew that setting schedules and routines for myself was something I found very difficult, but I didn't expect there to be such a big difference and so soon.
(Unfortunate side-effect: I'm getting ever more anxious about the state of the world, and now that I feel like I can Do Things again I start putting pressure on myself to try and Do Something About It. Rationally I know it's too soon but still.)

I went on a date! Two, actually. For the first time in years :) It seems to me that flirting is pretty much like normal meeting new people, except with an added awareness of potential future romance. I don't think I'll see him again, apart from in the climbing hall where we met, because it's a bad sign when it's hard to find things to talk about on the second date, but it was nice just to have the experience.
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
Today I went to a new restaurant with friends I hadn't seen in weeks (Vietnamese all-you-can-eat buffet, yum), then we went to watch "Guardians of the Galaxy 2", and then we went to the gym, so I feel accomplished even though I did almost nothing else. (Tomorrow is cleaning day, ugh.)

I enjoyed GotG 2. It was fun, it was colorful, it wasn't so stupid that it distracted from the movie, and it had several scenes that made me laugh out loud. It was also very pretty at times: that one planet kind of reminded me of "Jupiter Ascending" in its opulency.

Details & spoilers )
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I wanted to make a post about how I was doing at my new job, and then I remembered that today at 5pm a guy from IT told us not to turn off our computers today because of an important update, and today at 6pm I left work and of course turned off my computer just like I always do. *facepalm* Great job, self. Have fun tomorrow morning.

Overall it's going well though. I think. It seems like every few days one of my bosses tells me of a silly mistake that I can't believe I made and reminds me not to do it again and it's very embarrassing. Fortunately triple redundancy is pretty much built into every step of the process, but still.

The people are nice though, I'm getting used to the hours, and I'm not bored yet. (I will eventually, but my contract only lasts until July anyway, and I'll start sending job applications again in May. Not looking forward to it.)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
More quick Critical Role episode notes! Over 6k words, oops. Not cleaned up and with very rough time stamps, mostly taken while watching, and I wanted to edit them a bit but then I'd probably never get around to posting.

Episodes 57-94 )
Talk about your favorite parts of Critical Role with me? :D
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Taken from [personal profile] nenya_kanadka:
Comment with one of my fandoms, and I'll tell you:

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is most like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn't
my ship that never sailed
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
I earn money now, so I can buy more books! Excellent.
After many recommendations, I finally read "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet," and then found out that there's already a sequel too, great. I enjoyed both books a lot :) They're smaller in scope than many SF/F books, especially the second one, but I didn't mind. It felt kind of comfortable, even. Both books had a very warm and positive atmosphere, which was very nice, and put a big emphasis on people making friends and growing closer, which I love.
I'd read reviews saying that The Long Way doesn't have a very strong plot, but it didn't bother me because just like shows like e.g. Leverage it's so character-focused that character development becomes all the plot I need. (Actually it kind of reminds me of fic.)
Also, I always love when I start shipping characters early and then they actually get together :) I really liked the amount of space/focus the romance(s) got, I thought it was just right.

A Closed and Common Orbit doesn't have more plot, I'd say, but a clearer direction. Tbh at first I was disappointed when I found out that the sequel didn't focus on the crew of the Wayfarer, but they were at a pretty good/narratively satisfying point at the end of book 1 (exception: Spoiler )) so it made sense. The new main characters' stories didn't grab me until page 160 or so (more accurately Spoiler )), but after that I became very invested in their stories. Spoilers )

I really love the worldbuilding in these books. I like the history/politics background, generally positive and optimistic with cooperation between many races, but with plenty of dark sides too, from historical events to marginalized groups etc. Most of all I loved the races: they were varied (to a degree – many share many similarities with humanoids), they were interesting, they were all unique, and I just loved all the details about their cultures. Especially the Aandrisk and Aeluons, which we learned the most about.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
Role-playing is hard. Yesterday at D&D my character had a very difficult/upsetting/difficult-to-process experience and I had to decide how she would react to that, on the fly, while the other players were waiting and plot was progressing. Right after that, while she was still processing and trying to plan for what it meant for the future, came more stress and more unexpected things, so definitely a very difficult time for her. (The last time that happened she killed several thousand people.) I was stressed too! I thought she would be unsettled enough to be less careful than would usually be wise – and she promptly walked straight into a trap, almost died if not for the DM's mercy and was almost brain-washed on top of that, got stuck in a very tense situation, and that's where we ended the session. Whoa.

I worry a bit if what I did with her was "in character" - it's my character!, but I've been trying to give her enough personality so that there are things that would be OOC for her, which is not always easy when the first impulse is often to react like I would react. It's really hard to try and describe her, too. My DM recently asked me what her life goals are, basically, and that too was really difficult because she hasn't had much of a chance to think of goals apart from survival and preventing mass-murder/genocide and ensuring the world doesn't end. It's been a difficult time since she came to life a few months ago.

I also try to balance her actions with good gameplay. We have one player who tries to play his character being very cautious and careful when it comes to plans, to the point where he sometimes goes off alone or doesn't accompany the party on quests, and of course then it'll be less interesting for him because his character isn't involved. (Sometimes I do understand the impulse though.)

Details from the last few D&D sessions:Be careful when messing with gods. )

We'll see what happens next time! I love playing D&D.
schneefink: (Fleury)
Just some quick hockey notes:

- Pens beat CBJ in five! :D
Rust with two goals in an elimination game again, Guentzel with a hatty and five goals and Geno with eleven (!) points in the series. And that without their #1 defenseman and goalie, and Flower now has the most playoff wins in Penguins history. So nice. I even watched one game live last weekend, it's so much fun when my team wins.

- Nashville swept Chicago :D
(Chicago fans skip this bit)
So satisfying on so many levels. Happy PK and sad Blackhawks at the same time, win-win. Pekka Rinne had as many points as Chicago's top players, beautiful. Will we now hear less about Toews' intangible leadership qualities? Unfortunately doubtful.

- I got to watch Sharks-Oilers playoff overtime hockey for breakfast :) Unfortunately only for a few minutes because when I got up I didn't even realize it was still going on. Well-earned win for the Oilers. (I'm rooting for San Jose this series - sorry [personal profile] jae!! - because their core is old and won't have many more chances at the Cup while the Oilers will be a serious contender probably for many years to come, but the Oilers are fun to watch. (Also I laughed when an article mentioned Justin Schultz giving his old friends on the Oilers advice about playing in the playoffs. Poor Taylor Hall.)

- Playoffs are even worse than the regular season when it comes to players not getting penalized/punished for stupid moves that injure opponents. This is my least favorite aspect of hockey, ugh.

- In non-NHL hockey news, Austria's women's team lost their only game in the B World Championship to Japan, only winning silver and so not advancing to the A level. Nana Fujimoto *shakes fist*
The event was held in Graz, Austria, ~3 hours from Vienna, and I was thinking of going this weekend before I realized that I mixed up the dates. Very smart, self.
schneefink: (FF River and Kaylee)
It's snowing today, so much so that the roofs and cars and even some streets are white. Wow. So it was too soon to put away the winter jacket after all. April.

I went climbing again yesterday, the second week in a row, go me. My back & shoulders & arms are sore, good sign. Also nice: turns out the climbing hall is a good place to meet people. For the first time in probably years I flirted with someone, I enjoyed it.

A few weeks ago my therapist asked me about goals for the future, and I realized that while it would be very nice to be in a long-term romantic relationship, what I definitely want is not to live alone. If I don't live with a romantic partner, I'd happily keep living with flatmates, just please not on my own. (This might change one day, but right now I don't see it changing.) Should be doable :) (Actually probably the only reason why I wouldn't be happy to just keep living together with DD is because I'm a person who loves & needs regular hugs, and she isn't. I just need to figure out where I can get more hugs from.)


The new season of Natsume Yuujinchou has started already! Wonderfully warm and nice, and at the same time a lot of Feelings that make me want to hug my teddy bear. (I usually hug my big plush monkey that sits next to my table in case I get cold. I brought it from Moscow, where I bought it as a second pillow. Best souvenir. Its name is Galileo, because The Bloggess has a creepy stuffed monkey named Copernicus, but mine is much nicer.)

Episodes 1+2 )

Playoffs!

Apr. 11th, 2017 11:12 pm
schneefink: (Fleury)
The NHL playoffs start tomorrow! Is it acceptable to wear a Geno Malkin shirt to work? Eh, probably. How is it time for playoffs again already. Last year was amazing, especially during the time when I was actually in the US and could watch the games live with a bunch of fans. And then the Cup! So great.

This year I have low expectations ever since we learned that Tanger can't play :( Ugh, injuries. So maybe this could finally be the Caps' year, and as long as the Pens beat CBJ (and Chicago doesn't win) I'll be happy. (I say that now, let's see what it looks like in a week or two.)

I don't know how many games I'll watch live, probably not too many because of work. But thankfully there are weekends. It's hard to recall what early rounds playoff excitement felt like, and it's also different every year depending on investment, but depending on how the games go, the next few weeks could be stressful. Fingers crossed for no injuries, and for all the teams I like to win.

Misc.: Eggs

Apr. 9th, 2017 03:24 am
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Eggs are fantastic, why have I not been eating more eggs. Today I thought that the English term "sunny side up" is really strange, and then I realized that the German term literally means "mirror egg."

I already started this day with a sleep deficit, only managed to do maybe a quarter of the things I wanted, and tomorrow is really annoying schedule-wise and it'll be a late night, but I'm still awake at 4:30 because I started a long fic at the wrong time. Stupid. (But I also feel a little bit nostalgic because I haven't done this in a while. Not that that'll help me tomorrow. And I didn't even finish the fic so I'll be distracted too.)
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Random RL stuff:
- My phone, that I bought only half a year ago, is broken (not my fault.) Still covered under warranty, but still, ugh.
- We now have shelves in our kitchen! For cookbooks, and because we don't have enough yet there's also space for plants and fandom stuff. I'd take a picture, but see above re: phone being broken (and I'm too lazy to search for my old camera.)
- I wanted to go see Eddie Izzard in Bratislava on Saturday, but missed the bus. I was so mad at myself that I went running and completely overdid it, my knee still hurts.
- Last week we found out that our third roommate is moving out, so we're looking for a new one again. *sigh*
- So, so many terrible things in politics. So many. I know that world-wide there are much larger and more serious issues, but that our foreign minister and minister of the interior are huge dicks and the chancellor is ceding way too much ground to the conservatives is just the shitty cherry on top.

By now I have a few thousand words of unsorted thoughts on the last ~25 Critical Role episodes and I'm too lazy to clean them up and post them yet, but I feel the need to express my feelings about episode 83 RIGHT NOW.spoilers )

Misc

Mar. 21st, 2017 11:49 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
Today is world poetry day, and in some cafés in Vienna you could pay for a coffee with a poem. I met with my mom and my cousin at a café after work and wrote three poems featuring coffee in five minutes each. The ability to relatively easily write silly poems and rewrite song lyrics is among my favourite things I inherited from my dad, who occasionally rewrites the lyrics of entire musicals for anniversary birthdays.
I also wanted to post a poem but I'm too lazy to pick one out, but I will post at least one sometime in the next month.

DD and I are rewatching NiF two episodes a week, which we decided on because we needed a fixed number to stop ourselves from speeding through it in time we don't have. On the one hand it's something I now look forward to every week and it's great to rewatch it together, but on the other hand there's fic I want to edit or write for which I need to rewatch later episodes and I don't want to skip ahead. Ah well, better late than never. In the meantime I have so many feelings about all the NiF characters that I seem to be able to only express nonverbally, especially about Jingyan and Liyang who are so good and deserve so much better and just *flails*

Not that I have too much drive to write right now anyway. Hopefully next week? I try to at least keep up with commenting on fic I read during the day in the evenings, because it feels too awkward to visit the Archive at work and typing on my phone is annoying.

My head is full of random stuff. Eh, could be worse, at least most of it is not negative random stuff. Stuff like plans to finally try out the "Lord of the Rings" boardgame I got for cheap over a year ago this weekend, or museums, or calendar confusion, or the surprisingly annoying decision what to wear each morning. Not that the company has a strict dress code but still. I think I want to have more necklaces. It's on my list of things to buy with my paychecks, somewhere after "new headphones" because my current ones only work intermittently, and somewhere before "new laptop" because I know me and it'll take me ages to finally decide on a new model. My current one lasted almost eight years even though I didn't treat it very well, I'm attached (and lazy.)

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