I've seen the film twice so far, once at the midnight premiere at midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, and once on Thursday. The former in HFR 3D and the latter in 2D.

Right now, I'm too frazzled to attempt a coherent review (and I suck at them anyway), so here's a condensed version: thrilling, funny and dark by turns and really not a lot like the book even if most of what's in there is from some part of the wider canon. This isn't to say I didn't like it, not at all. I can deal with the deviations (that a lot of purists have found very grating - which is okay, they're entitled to their opinion), even if some of them confuse me a little, and I'll do the same thing as I did with AUJ and the LotR trilogy: give them their own place next to the book.

And now, to avoid sounding too serious, some things I loved:
- the visuals. The sets are gorgeous, and the sense of space you get in HFR 3D is amazing. Half of the reason I went to see it again so soon was that I wanted to catch all the little things I missed during the first viewing, which I spent gazing starry-eyed at the spectacle unfolding. *g*
- Mirkwood, particularly the sense of tarnished beauty that's slowly decaying.

... and hell, I didn't even find Tauriel all that annoying.
empyreus: (foolish)
( Mar. 28th, 2008 10:34 am)
I fixed the Semagic issue. Turns out it was caused by the stupidest error of all: a bad download. For some reason, using the main dl link on the Sourceforge page got me two bad downloads.(One of the first things I did when it failed was download the installer again.) When I used the backup/mirror link, everything worked perfectly and Semagic installed without a single problem.

I feel like such an idiot.
My journal turned seven years old today. o_O Christ, have I been here that long? It doesn't feel like it, honest. *squishes Flist* I love you all of you, newbies and old friends alike. *g*

EtA March 28th: In other news: I still hate Vista. Argh. Has anyone been able to install and run Semagic on Vista Home? I've tried to install it, but it gets wanky at the very beginning of the process and keeps whining about a ntvdm error. >_< Fixed it.
So, in the past week I've acquired (in no particular order):

- 11 translated pulp paperbacks which seem to be parts of a AoS-themed series. The series is called "Fregatt" (Frigate) in Swedish, no clue what it was called in English; the hero is George Abercrombie Fox. I'm missing parts 1, 4, 11-14, 16 and 17, though. That tends to happen when you scour fleamarkets for books. :( On the plus side, I paid 1,10e for the lot, so it's not like it's a dramatic waste of money if they turn out to be crap.

- the beginnings of a cold (had a bit of fever already, though it seems to be gone, and spent Saturday feeling run over)

- a laptop *squee*

- a deep and abiding hate for Vista

In other news: there are no other news. Work tomorrow (do not want), university things almost overdue, no energy, tendency to type short phrases without conjunctions or proper grammar.

*curls up*
empyreus: (wtf)
( Sep. 6th, 2007 07:42 pm)
I seem to have an M.A. thesis subject.

Before this Monday, the thesis had merely loomed in the future and been something labelled "To be dealt with", since I still have some courses left to finish. (It is generally recommended that you complete all your courses before starting work on your M.A.) So what happened on Monday? Well, I went to see the head of the department to ask about an advanced course and came out an hour later with a bunch of paper and a suggestion for a thesis. The dean had looked at the courses I'd taken, and then briskly noted "You're mostly done, so you should start working on your Master's thesis now. Sign up for the seminar so you can start. I have some material here that you could use." (For an approximation of the expression on my face when I heard this, see icon.)

I spent the next three days flailing around, trying to get my head around the subject and what material I might use (and boring all friends to tears with my incessant whining). Dead ends everywhere. I finally thought of another subject twenty minutes before the seminar lecture was due to start. I was intensively relieved when the new subject seemed to meet with the approval of the seminar supervisor (who is also the dean of the department).

The subject? It seems like it's shaping up to be an analysis of the translations of puns in the Swedish edition of Good Omens, with an eye to domestication/foreignization, translation tactics and culture-dependent expressions. I may regret this.
empyreus: (sexy geek)
( Jun. 26th, 2007 10:09 pm)
I has a new screen! It's nineteen inches of lcd goodness, and I'm already in love with it. It's sleek and light as a feather compared to my old 19" crt monitor, which weighed a mind-boggling 25 kgs (!). This one weighs a mere 5 kgs, and that's mostly because of the base.

The only thing I'm not quite used to yet is how wide it is. Yes, it's a widescreen monitor, so it only does what it says on the tin, but going from 1280 to 1440 pixels in width is a bit jarring.

I can't believe how much desk space I suddenly have. Well, how much I temporarily had, really. I've just begun building a 1,000 piece jigsaw on the newly freed area. *g*

(Also, in completely unrelated news: is it just me, or is not thanking your writer in a fic challenge just plain rude? I know that the fic you receive might not always be to your taste, but honestly, the least thing you can do is thank the writer for their trouble.)
empyreus: (A fair and noble face)
( Jun. 16th, 2007 12:18 am)
Right, am now a nice amount of euros poorer but soon to be one 19" lcd widescreen monitor richer. It's my slightly early birthday gift to myself, though it will in fact be late as there's no way they'll be able to deliver it on Monday.

In other news: there are no other news. I'm feeling a bit under the weather (sore throat and a bit of general listlessness), work is busy and I'm so blocked on a challenge fic it isn't even funny. However, nice things also happened: I found a hardback copy of a Swedish translation of Suetonius's De vita Caesarum for only three euros in the sales bin at the local bookstore, and my sister and I went out for an after-work pint of cider. Small things, yes, but enough to put a smile on my face.
Today I learned something new about myself: when I try to speak Norwegian, everything I produce is prosodically Danish. Pitch, inflection, rhythm and occasionally even lexis.

Now, I know I can't speak Norwegian properly, and that my attempts generally are 80% Swedish with Norwegian words thrown in, but I wasn't aware of having such a strong prosodic bent toward Danish. (Which, by the way, I don't speak properly either.)

I have the Ukrainian guest researcher to thank for this new insight into my already strange linguistic behaviour. My interpreting teacher had signed us up as test subjects in one of his studies on... something. I think it was pauses in interpreting and retelling of short narratives. (As an aside: the researcher has one of the most fascinating accents I have ever heard. It's Ukranian/Russian and broadly Australian at the same time.)

I was asked to listen to and retell three short narratives in Finnish, then three narratives in Swedish, then simulataneously interpret three short pieces from Finnish to Swedish and three from Swedish to Finnish. I was also asked to retell a short Norwegian piece in Finnish and a short Finnish piece in Norwegian. This was when things got interesting. See, like I said, I don't speak Norwegian. I understand it fairly well, yes, but I certainly don't speak it with any degree of fluency. The researcher urged me to at least try, so I did, but the end result was more interesting than accurate. (One of my main problems with producing anything resembling spoken Norwegian is that it is too close to Swedish pitch- and melody-wise, so I over-compensate and end up speaking bastardised Danish instead.) He also asked me to tell short stories (two minutes) about a place I had never been to, in Finnish, Swedish and--wait for it--Norwegian. At this point, I was so bogged down in languages that I agreed. The Norwegian story ended up being the longest of them all (clocking in at about three and a half minutes), and when I finished, he was grinning broadly. "This is fantastic," he enthused. "Your Norwegian is almost exclusively Danish prosodically, even when it comes to the lexis." I apologized and repeated that I didn't really speak Norwegian. "No, no," he protested, "no need to be sorry, this is brilliant. This'll make for great research material." Err, yay? He also commented on how much he loves the sound of Danish, and that my speech had been pleasant despite being wrong prosodically.

I'll be meeting with him in April as well, to contribute some more material, and he was so grateful it was almost embarrassing. "I've exploited you so much, so feel free to ask for any favours." (Yes, he said 'exploited'.) We'd briefly discussed other languages during the test, and I'd mentioned I'd really like to pick up Russian again. He told me I'm free to come to him for refresher lessons or conversation if I so wish, and I may well take him up on that offer, provided I have the time.

Wow. That was long and boring and geeky.
Damn, why can't this bloke be a candidate in my electoral district?

Jyrki J.J. Kasvi (MP, represents the Green League), has put up a Klingon version of his website in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Yes, you read that correctly. A Klingon version. Let it never be said Finns can't act geeky. *g*

The site also gets mentioned on Reuters and Geek Beat. Go us.

(Randomly: I wonder how you say "A vote for Kasvi is a vote for order" in tlhIngan Hol? Extra bonus points for those who get the bastardized reference.)

And more election-themed detritus: the waysides are littered with signs, posters and banners, and they're only mildly interesting at best. However, one of them made my sister exclaim "My god! Did you see that one? He looks like he escaped from the League of Gentlemen! 'This is a local shop'. All he needs to do is tape his nose up." Said candidate, Teppo Ylitalo, is actually a candidate in my electoral district, but that sadly isn't enough to make me vote for him. From what I can gather, he's a rather colourless Centre party candidate.

Pics or it didn't happen, eh? )
(I did this last year, and will reprise it now, as the fic I had thought about posting didn't want to cooperate. Also, I know the date is by Shire reckoning, not Steward's reckoning, but I always realize too late that I've missed the 'proper' date.)

Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows
The West Wind comes walking, and about the walls it goes.
'What news from the West, O wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight?
Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight?'
'I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey;
I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away
Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more.
The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.'
'O Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar,
But you came not from the empty lands where no men are.'

From the mouths of the Sea the South Wind flies, from the sandhills and the stones;
The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans.
'What news from the South, O sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve?
Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve.'
'Ask not of me where he doth dwell-so many bones there lie
On the white shores and the dark shores under the stormy sky;
So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing Sea.
Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!'
'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south,
But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea's mouth.'

From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls;
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
'What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away.'
'Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought.
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest;
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.'
'O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.'

(Lament for Boromir, from The Two Towers, book three, chapter 1: "The Departure of Boromir".)

'A broken sword was on his knee. I saw many wounds on him. It was Boromir, my brother, dead. I knew his gear, his sword, his beloved face. One thing only I missed: his horn. One thing only I knew not: a fair belt, as it were of linked golden leaves, about his waist. Boromir! I cried. Where is thy horn? Whither goest thou? O Boromir! But he was gone. The boat turned into the stream and passed glimmering on into the night. Dreamlike it was. and yet no dream, for there was no waking. And I do not doubt that he is dead and has passed down the River to the Sea.'

(Faramir, from The Two Towers, book four, chapter 5: "The Window On the West".)
empyreus: (Sharpe)
( Feb. 20th, 2007 10:06 pm)
Today's been a bit of a bumpy ride, really. The interpreting exercises were much more challenging than they usually are, and I felt completely wrung out after a half-hour Swedish-to-Finnish consecutive turn. Mind, the subject was legislature, something I'm not all that good at in either language. I nearly gave up once or twice, having snarled myself into a sentence or misunderstood where the speaker was going with a particular point, but I gritted my teeth and soldiered on. My hands shook the whole time, but I held on to my trusty clipboard (great when you're taking notes while standing) so hard my hand hurt and managed to look calm.

After the lecture, I had to bike to one of the local video stores to rent a few Swedish movies to watch with my students tomorrow, and as I prepared to bike back to campus to attend another lecture, I heard an ominous 'thunk' as I mounted the bike and began pedalling. Yes, the back tire was flat. I swore heartily, then remembered there was a bike repair show nearby and wheeled the bike there. Long story not-so-short: I had to walk back to campus, attend three quarters of the lecture, then walk back into town to get my bike before the repair shop closed and also pay 40e for the pleasure of having the back tire changed and my breaks adjusted. (To be fair, the repairman also changed the brake pads, something that really needed to be done.) And boy, had the brakes been adjusted. I'm used to the front brake being really loose, meaning I have to brake hard to get it to work, and when I biked off home, I assumed the brakes would still be a bit loose despite having been adjusted. (They were a bit floppy when I'd last had them fixed at a different repair shop.) I was wrong. When I had to brake at a zebra crossing and grabbed hold of both brakes rather hard out of habit, I nearly went flying over the handlebars. The front brake is now so sensitive you barely have to close your fingers around it to have the brakes slam on. Takes some getting used to.

The weather was so cold that my legs felt like they belonged to someone else when I finally made it home. My cheekbones also hurt fiercely, despite the fact that I wore my scarf pulled up over my nose and cheeks. It's only about -18°C here, but the wind chill makes it murderous. And they've promised -18° and 4 m/s for tomorrow, which equals -26,5°C of wind chill. My class(es) begins at 08.15, meaning I have to get up really early, and runs to 15.15. Do not want.

However, all was not bad today, as I also managed to write almost 500 words of challenge ficlets (for the old requests, you'll be glad to hear) and played around with ideas for the new ones. And the lentil stew I made when I came home turned out excellent. And I found a terrifically geeky old (well, seventies) book on word elements in modern biochemistry for only 20 cents in the used book sale bin at the library. Stop laughing. I like etymology.

I'll leave you with a snip from a BBC article that amused me for no other reason than that the medical professional has a lovely name:
Professor Richard Sharpe, principal investigator at the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh said the study was yet another indication that naturally occurring plant products can have an effect on human hormones.

Professor, eh? Dick Sharpe, gone from havercake to hormone specialist... Did Baird lure him to Edinburgh? (It's even funnier due to the fact that I was taking a break from typing up Sharpe fic notes when I read the article.)
It's ten o'clock on a Friday night, and I just posted on the PGDP* board for Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Ed Vol 8/f Dodwell to Drama (the first-round proofing of it, to be more precise) asking whether or not I should transliterate rough breathing marks as 'h' in words like "`Ερμηνευματα". (EtA: apparently I should. Good, that means I've been doing it right so far.)

I have no life. No, wait, I think I saw one behind my bookshelf once.

And my icon is only half appropriate. I need a separate one for hardcore nerding. Any volunteers?

*Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders. Yes, I'm a big flaming nerd with grammar whore tendencies.
empyreus: (reveries)
( Aug. 1st, 2005 10:35 pm)
I really shouldn't be allowed to enter bookstores when there's a sale going on. Today's catch: six books. *facepalm* Okay, so the total only came to a little over 16e, but I really need to stop buying so many books. I'm running out of shelf space. Hell, I'm running out of flat surfaces to stack the books on.

Today's books:
Guy Gavriel Kay: A Song for Arbonne
Leo Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other stories
Anon: The String of Pearls (a.k.a. the original tale of Sweeney Todd)
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of the Four
Mary Shelley: The Last Man
and Herodotus: Histories.

(Yes, I'm a dork. But I'm an eclectic dork.)

It amused me to no end that the sales clerk at the bookstore recognised me and told me "Oh, now I recognise you. And now I remember that you don't speak Swedish." I didn't have the heart to tell her Swedish is my second mother tongue*, and instead I smiled back and said: "I speak Swedish too, actually." She then proceeded to tell me that she'd recognised me by my nails (!). Okay, that may not be sucha strange thing. I keep my nails fairly long (they're very tough and seldom break or chip),and I usually paint them in rather strong colours and/or patterns. (I painted green and silver stripes on them for HBP, and I've painted Elvish tengwar on them more than once.) Eh. It's my one girly habit.

* - No, really. I speak both languages (Finnish and Swedish) about equally fluently, and I've spoken both since I could talk. I think that counts as having two mother tongues. ;)

What else? Met up with [livejournal.com profile] darkie after work, as we'd volunteered to cat- and dogsit [livejournal.com profile] tackerama's cats and her mother's cats and dog. Other than that, I haven't done much. The pace at work is a lot less hectic and therefore bearable, as opposed to the hellish stress of the past few weeks.

Lastly, a sly little poke: the drabble/ficlet request post is still open. :)
First things first: Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] pecos and [livejournal.com profile] ladymoonray!!

Midsummer came and went, and it was pleasant as always to stay up until the wee hours being silly. There was Scrabble, random fic pairings and *really* weird trains of thought. (Along the lines of "Is it necro if you have sex in a corpse?" (this started from one of us misreading the word 'copse'), "Is it bestiality or a menage a trois if you have sex on a horse?" and "Is it cannibalism if you eat inside a corpse and bits fall onto your plate?")

The cannibalism query makes a nice and obvious pons asinorum, so here goes: My sister's boyfriend lent me Shaun of the Dead, and I enjoyed it very much. I didn't know Peter Serafinowicz was in it, and so I squee'd very much upon spotting him. (The PS thing goes back to my TPM fandom days. It's a rather long story.) There's a scene in the outtakes section which makes me flail madly. The scene is just dialogue: Shaun, i.e. Simon Pegg, tells Pete "I'll have a word (with best friend Ed)", then turns to walk away, when someone behind the camera yells "And kiss". Both Simon and Peter actually lean in, and Peter in particular looks as though he's actually going for a kiss and not just a feint. *loves* First the omgslashiestthingsinceLotR commentary on Van Helsing, and now this. Oh, and I kept getting brained by Shaun/Ed bunnies, ones I don't really need.

PJ mark 2 scares me a little. Where's Hobbity PJ with the smudgy glasses? Oh well, at least the hair's still there.

I'm slowly getting used to using XP (my version is a slightly different one, a type of hax0red XP Pro called WinBorg. Yes, Borg as in "We are the Borg".), but it's rather slow work. I have to reinstall an arseload of programs (though I got a whole batch with WinBorg) and crack them, plus download all the drivers for the peripherals. The original printer drivers are on floppies(!) somewhere, but thankfully they're available for download on the Canon site. I also need to get a new usb cable for the scanner (no more of that parallel port nonsense, thank you), and until I get around to doing that, the scanner is out of commission, meaning the new Tadfield Tiny will be delayed. It's not just the cables that are delaying things, it's work and exams as well. I have two exams on Saturday, and I'll probably be working for most of the week as well. (I say 'probably' because my boss hasn't called me about this week yet. It's frustrating beyond belief not to know your work hours for more than a week in advance.) I need more hours in a day. It would be brilliant if you could over-clock the day to have 48 or 96 hours.


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