kangeiko: artic ice with the sun in the background, and a sledge being dragged by dogs (TG adventure)
I arrived in Bishkek a few hours ago. Er... 15 hours ago? I arrived at 5am local time, but it was only midnight on my body clock. By the time I arrived at the hotel, half-dead with exhaustion (the stop-over in Moscow was for some reason particularly grueling this time around), it was already breakfast time. So... I ate breakfast, and then went to bed. I went to the office in the afternoon, so now my brain is telling me that it's lunchtime, and my eyes are telling me that it's dinner time. Either way, I had a very delicious meal. I'm staying in some standard chain hotel, but the nice thing (as well as the frankly palatial room) is that there is a rooftop terrace with a view across the city. Of course, it's an ex-Soviet city in the throes of a construction boom, so the view is mostly of half-finished towering buildings, but I suppose we can't have everything.

This month is going to be one solid block of travel time. I'm only in Bishkek for a few days, before I have to head back and go on to Germany. After that, the US (DC and NYC). I'm half excited about being on the move again, and half terrified of the inevitable jetlag.

That said... I'm not tired? I don't know if this is because I had a vitamin B12 shot a few hours before getting on the plane. My arm is bruised and swollen but I feel rested and awake. And like I could sleep well this evening.

There is a not-so-small part of me that is wondering if this is because I have left the anxiety of my job in London, and all I have to be anxious about when out and about is not getting lost. (My Russian stretches to asking for directions, but not necessarily understanding the answer. Although I have been told that I have an absolutely beautiful accent when asking for Krassnaya Ploshit, so if I ever need to find Moscow's Red Square, I'll be able to do so with impeccable diction. And the set off in the wrong direction.)

Anyway, small fandom note, when I was on the plane I watched Deadpool as the in-flight film.

Read more... )
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
I managed to slice my finger open on bread. On bread, people. I do not appreciate being defeated by my lunch.

In less fail-worthy areas, I want to talk about some of my favourite characters. You will notice that they are neither 25, nor male. This makes them the exception when it comes to be characterised as 'awesome' by the majority of fandom. (Much as I love K/S, fifty-eight of the new Star Trek communities that have recently formed could wink out of existence and the young, gorgeous and male characters in the cast would still get plenty of love. But I digress.)

So here's my love-song to all those women who managed to hit forty and still remain smart and gorgeous and made of awesome.

1. Atia (ROME)
When I think of awesome, I think of Atia. She single-handedly made ROME for me. She's smart, she's petty, she's beautiful naked. She's not a size 0. Best moment: when she's beating the crap out of Octavia and Octavian for sleeping together. Or when she turns up at Mark Anthony's wearing all those furs.

2. Servilia (ROME)
Ah, Servilia. Realistically, having Atia go up against a man would have been pointless, as she would have eaten him alive. Servilia, on the other hand, counted Julius Caesar as a lover, and Atia as an enemy. She was magnificent in her rage; even though I loved Atia, I would sometimes be traitorously wanting Servilia to win. Best moment: scratching a curse onto a bronze mirror and, of course, her final scene in front of Atia.

3. Irina Derevko (Alias)
Spymommy rules! Let's get over the fact that she also looks like my first grade teacher, which confused the smaller parts of my brain. Let's also ignore the last part of S5, as it upsets me beyond words. In all other respects, Irina rules. She is an Evil Overlady (who pretend to be an Evil Overlord, because men are stupid and wouldn't think of it - see, even the spellcheck can cope with Evil Overlord but doesn't recognise Evil Overlady!) and she manages to turn most of the Alias world upside down on a regular basis. Also, she's stunningly gorgeous, and isn't afraid to use that sexuality to her advantage. Come to think of it, ALL the women on this list still continue to use their sexuality, which must be confusing for those who think that a woman can't be a sexual being after 40. Anyway, best moments: getting changed on the train and catching Jack looking at her, helping deliver Isabelle, "no, I'm going to let him do it" and the whole Elena interaction.

4. Lwaxana Troi (ST:TNG & ST:DSN)
I recently rewatched Lwaxana's first visit to DSN with [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky, hence the resurgence of my love for her. She's played for comedic effect generally, but she also has such an air of pathos about her that she can reach quite impressive depths. I love that she has different hair for every occasion, and she can seduce a Ferengi just as convincingly as she can make a play for Picard. I love that she loves her daughter unreservedly, and Dark Page broke my heart. And her wedding 'gown' - priceless! Best moments: turning up for her wedding dressed traditionally, sitting in Picard's lap after being rescued from the Ferengi, catching the melting Odo in her skirts.

5. Iris Crowe (Carnivale)
Speaking of unreserved, unconditional love: witness Iris Crowe's not-entirely-appropriate love for her brother. Iris seriously blind-sided me in Carnivale; I honestly didn't think she would have been the one to do that with the orphanage. She struck me as too soft (can you believe that??), and so it was a real shock. Of course, listening to her reasons made it clear that she was anything other than soft, and after that I think I was more afraid of her than of Justin. Best moments: leaving the door open when bathing, explaining about the orphanage.

6. Laura Roslin (BSG)
The only reason I might decide to actually give BSG another chance is because of the awesome scariness of Laura Roslin. She had me when she shoved that guy out the airlock, and I know he was a bad guy, but she seemed to - well, not precisely enjoy it, but not be cut up about it, either. And I guess we're so used to seeing female characters feel at everything, that watching her do that so composedly really shook me. Best moments: not going bonkers when Tigh comes to visit her in her cell in S1, shoving the Cylon out the airlock, telling Baltar what she thinks of him when she thinks she's dying. I've only watched up to the middle of S2, so doubtless there are others.

7. Sally Jupiter (Watchmen)
This is the bit where everyone wonders what the hell I'm smoking, because I think that Sally is awesome. If nothing else, she is an immensely complex character to end up spoilering a spoiler with spoiler. I think that it's a shame that the entire fandom seems so focused on the second gen heroes at the exclusion of the Minutemen (and what little Minutemen stuff there is seems to be almost entirely slash. What about the awesomeness of the female heroes??). Best moments: telling Eddie to stay away from Laurie, and then telling Laurie why she couldn't hate Eddie. AWWWWW.

8. Joyce Summers (Buffy)
Joyce is, in fact, an excellent mum who is just trying to do her best. Her kid has announced that she's a superhero, and will be killing nasties regardless of what mummy wants for her (and mummy is quite certain that 'college' rather than 'decapitation' is what she wants for her daughter). Plus then Dawn turns up. I, I just - for a few brief episodes, before everything goes wrong, there's a real family at the beginning of S5, and they're happy. Which just makes what comes later that much more heart-breaking. Best moments: Valentine's day with Buffy - Thelma & Louise sounds like an excellent idea - and when Buffy comes back in S3. Hitting Spike over the head with an axe, And - this may not count - but The Body. Because that makes me cry every single time.

9. CJ Cregg (TWW)
I've decided that she counts because she is over 40, and is not little, cute or blonde. Not that little, cute and blonde can't be intimidating in its own ways. How do I love CJ? When I grow up I want to be just like her. The beginning of S6 - while upsetting - also makes me happy with the CJ-centric episodes, especially where we see her hit the ground running. Because she is made of awesomesauce and could pick it up like *snaps fingers* that. Plus, she has a fantastic body. And is amazing in bed. (What? She is.) Best moments: WHERE TO START, well, being amazing in bed, having root canal, the women of Qumar, kissing Danny, visiting Toby in S7, getting drunk with Abbey, smacking down the Joint Chiefs.

10. Narcissa Malfoy (Harry Potter)
I read a fic somewhere that describes the Malfoys as 'an army of three', which I think is amazingly accurate. Narcissa is on her family's side. Yes, she wants them to be successful, and yes, they have allied themselves politically to a particular side, but that doesn't mean that she's going to sacrifice her family on the altar of principle or political expediency. And, when you think about it, she's the reason that LV was defeated - and she doesn't regret it, not a single bit of it. Best moments: the dinner with LV and silent support for her husband, asking whether Draco's alive.

11. Kai Winn (ST:DSN)
Kai Winn should get her own section, entitled 'scary villains'. I'm rewatching DSN, and it's hitting me all over again just how much she freaked me out. She reminds me of Martha Stewart, if she decided to join the KKK and run for office. I won't spoil by mentioning her best moments, even though I am vaguely spoiled myself for S7. But her early appearances are awesome still: the bombing of the school, letting Minister Jarro stand alone, telling her mole that her semi-suicidal bombing was the work of the Prophets.

12. M (Bond films)
Judi Dench as M makes my knees weak, particularly in Casino Royale. The Brosnan Bond was too powerful, really, for us to see her as an effective control of him (which was always one of my pet peeves with Bond - he's an agent, he's disposable - he doesn't get to dictate terms to M!), but when we had the relaunch it all clicked for me. This M wouldn't hesitate to throw Bond at something guaranteed to get him killed. He's a tool for her: sometimes a precise, effective tool, sometimes a jack-hammer. Sometimes (very expensive) cannon fodder. But she's the one who makes the decisions, and he's the one who implements them. Best moments: that entire scene in her apartment in Casino Royale.

13. Livia (I, Claudius)
akjdfghfkghdfkgj, Livia. I have only read the book, not watched the series yet (I AM A BAD FAN; I am taking it to Zambia with me to watch in peace and quiet...), but in the book she is pant-wettingly awesome. She's the mind behind the throne, and when that throne is Augustus bloody Caesar, you get an idea of the sort of mind she is. Best moment: painting the bloody fruit!

14. Frau Totenkinder (Fables)
She interrogates BABA YAGA. Case closed. Plus, she's totally up to something... er, else. Best moments: young!frau exacting her revenge on her former lover, being rescued by Red and Snow, and, oh yes, INTERROGATING BABA FRIKKIN YAYGA. (Maybe you had to grow up with tales of Baba Yaga as a kid to get how inhumanly awesome and terrifying that is as a concept, I dunno. Baba Yaga was guaranteed to make me wet my pants as a kid, though, I find her scary beyond words.)

15. Kathryn Janeway (ST:VOY)
Star Trek seems to be doing remarkably well here, WHUT. Anyway, Kate Mulgrew was in her 40s as Janeway, which makes Janeway in her 40s - and that logic is good enough for me. And while Voyager sucked abysmally a lot of the time, some of the time it was totes awesome, and that was mainly because of Janeway and her forbidden love relationship with Seven. Best moments: going all Die Hard and hunting down giant microbes, facing down the skeezy Kashyk, Borg Queen face-off!!, telling Seven to date in a totally 'come hither' way.

So, there we are. 15 women too awesome for words. (Although I clearly found some.) Give 'em some love, they totally deserve it!
kangeiko: (Default)
Saw Casablanca with [livejournal.com profile] wingsmith and [livejournal.com profile] queenspanky yesterday at the ICA. I'd never seen it before, and wanted the first time to be on the cinema screen. I'm so glad I waited, it's instantly become one of my favourite films.

I spent the rest of the day clearing out years' worth of accumulated clutter. Ten recycling and ten charity shop bags later, and I am... nowhere near finished. *sigh* At least there is now space for [livejournal.com profile] athena25 to move her stuff in this coming weekend.

I generally hate V-day, either because there are cards and messages (which makes me angry, see previous posts), or there aren't (which makes me depressed). This year, however, I was generally quite happy spending it with my friends and squeeing about Africa.

Next week looks something like this:
1. work work work work work
2. an assertive presentations course at Greenpeace, the mere concept of which never fails to crack me up.
3. final shopping - memory card for newly acquired digital camera (Canon, point-and-click, and yes, it's pink, sue me), anything else I've forgotten.
4. washing clothes, packing
5. flight.

Eeep.

For those curious on the continuing shenanigans of the Woman-Who-Would-Be-My-Boss, she recently had her ass kicked by my actual boss. I have a meeting with the two of them tomorrow, which should be hilarious. Will keep you posted.

*

In other news, one of my very dear friends had a baby yesterday. Yes, that's a right - a Valentine's Day baby. Audrey Kathryn is named after her grandparents, and is 7 pounds and some ounces, and 22 inches long. And a week and a half late, so there was some trauma with the emergency C-section, but both mother and baby are doing well and will be going home on Tuesday. I am very eager to see them, but given that they live in Oregon, this might not be any time soon. *sigh* Still, there will be pictures soon (they are still sequestered in the hospital), and I am very much looking forward to that.
kangeiko: (Default)
Things I have seen recently:

Moon for the Misbegotten - no spoilers ) Overall rating: 7 out of 10.

Children of Men - no spoilers ) Overall rating: 10 out of 10.

Veronica Mars 3.01 - 'Welcome Wagon' - very mild spoilers )

I know a person who knows a guy, so now I have Veronica Mars #3.01 on my harddrive. If you can't wait until 3rd October, email me or comment and I'll send you the link to it. [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa, I'm putting it in with the care package I'm sending you, honey. *smooch*
kangeiko: (Default)
Human Rights Watch are throwing an international film festival 15 - 25 March across London. Any London types out there fancy going to have a look-see?

Details - and a programme - can be found here.
kangeiko: (Default)
Right, so, the weekend was eventful.

A&E )

Deadwood, Ep 1-4 )

Jarhead )

And now, I'm back at work. Admittedly, I turned up at around midday, slightly surprised to have made it in at all. My HR person is still fluttering around, trying to send me back to bed with antibiotics and weak tea, but I am Strong (tm), and shall resist the temptation. Plus, I am mighty sick of sleep and intend to actually qualify as a CPFA at some point in my life. 400 days of practical experience don't just accumulate like that *snaps fingers*, you know.

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