Italy!

Jul. 5th, 2013 12:56 pm
kangeiko: (SQUEE!)
Pictures of my South Sudan trip, and the last part of the round-up, will be coming at some point soon, I promise. here's a teaser: work! trekking! food poisoning! plus bonus getting lost in a landmine area after dark! Never a dull moment, eh.

BUT before then, I want to squee SO HARD your eardrums may suffer. For I am going back to Italy this summer, this time for 2 weeks. And in those two weeks I will be doing:

- 1 week Italian study at Scuola di Leonardo da Vinci in Rome
- Visiting the Uffizi in Florence (& other things too, I presume!)
- candlelight tour of the Vatican & Sistine Chapel (*fingers crossed* I need to book tickets for this, hopefully I can snag some)
- MONZA GP!!!!!!!!!!! I am parking myself at the apex of Parabolica and even brute force will not move me!!!!!
- Ballet at Teatro alla Scala in Milan (including formal wear, because there is a dress code o.O)
- a day at Ostia Antica, plus (hopefully) visiting the Decorated Houses

I will doubtless do other things while I am there, for I have several days in Florence, Rome and Milan. Sadly, I doubt I'll have enough time to visit The Last Supper in Milan. But the above is enough to be getting on with, don't you think??

I am so excited about it all, and, plus, booking things on the Italian sites rather than via the UK option has meant that I've got the above rather cheap, plus have excercised my bad Italian a little.

Now, the only things I have left to actually book are -
2 nights' accommodation in Rome
- tour of the Vatican (tickets are not on sale yet)
- tickets to the Uffizi (we've been told to book ahead for this to skip the queues)
- tour of the Decorated Houses at Ostia. The only way I can book this is by phoning, so I'm hoping they can either understand English, or I can make myself understood somehow...

ANYWAY. Work has been dreadful, so it's really nice to have this to look forward to.
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
I haven't posted for ages because I've been either out in the evenings or curled up with a book, having time away from the computer. Which I suppose cancels out the whole point of posting every day? But anyway, it turns out I have a lunch break today (woohoo!) so I'm taking advantage of it to get caught up on these and have a fabulous time doing so. Ahoy for excessive embedding!

Day 09 - Best scene ever )

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Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving )

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Day 11 - A show that disappointed you )

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Day 12 - An episode you've watched more than 5 times )

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Day 13 - Favorite childhood show )

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Day 14 - Favorite male character )

Days 6/7/8

Jun. 11th, 2010 02:40 pm
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
Ooops, too much sociliaising in the evening has resulted in no posts for the last two days. Mea culpa. Here they are, alongside today's post as well.

Day 06 - Favorite episode of your favorite TV show )

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Day 07 - Least favorite episode of your favorite TV show )

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Day 08 - A show everyone should watch )
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!

Rome 2.07

Jul. 11th, 2007 10:57 pm
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
Ah, yes. This is the one where my heart is broken into a million pieces and then TRAMPLED INTO THE DIRT WITH SHARP, SHARP POINTY HEELS.

Also, three episodes to go, not 6. WOE. And I couldn't resist and had to read the summaries on the HBO website, so I kinda roughly know what's going to happen. Kinda. AND IT SOMEHOW MAKES IT WORSE. DOUBLE PLUS WOE.

(I really honestly genuinely have a giant girl-crush on Atia. Or, possibly, Polly Walker. genuine girl!crushing. It's embarrasing.)

OotP tomorrow, that's not going reduce me to a blubbering mess over Sirius, oh, of course not... *headdesk*
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
I appear to be working my arse off, which makes lj-life um, difficult. It does, however, mean that I'm romping through a great many fabulous books. They make my train journey bearable. Yes.

Today's brilliance is I, Claudius.

Title: I, Claudius
by: Robert Graves
page count: 395 pages.

It was really weird to read this while watching S2 of ROME. )

In conclusion, I need to write Atia meeting Livia. Because that would improve my world SO MUCH.

THE END!
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
OMG Rome OMG!!! *flails*

I am so glad that I don't have to wait a week for the next part!!!!
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
Tomorrow, I am writing my dissertation. For real, this time, as it's due on 1 September and I have *counts* 10 days off work in which to write it. The research is done, and I've mostly planned it, so it should just be a case of sitting down and writing it until it's, well, written. Then sending it to people to rip to shreds, and re-writing it until it doesn't suck. Then having a ball. An actual ball, will ballgowns and everything.

In the meantime, we have [livejournal.com profile] fannish5 asking us to name five times that a character you like did something wrong -so I did, with spoilers for S2 Buffy, S1 Rome, S4 Babylon 5, S3 Alias and S3 West Wing. )
kangeiko: (Default)
I just had a thought that made me fall out of bed in a scary, scary way, AND YOU'RE ALL GOING TO BE TRAUMATISED WITH ME, DAMNIT!

ST:TNG? Is HBO's ROME. )

I fully expect someone to write something appropriate, now. *cracks whip* Get to it, people!
kangeiko: (Default)
me: Julius Caesar, right -
ath: yeah?
me: I'd do 'im.
ath: the actor, the character or the historical figure?
me: er - character and historical figure.
ath: dunno.
me: it's julius fucking caesar! would you say no?!
ath: well, no. it's politics, innit? only, 'e might not be any good.
me: are you trying to say that julius caesar isn't any good in the sack?!
ath: ... no, you're probably right.
me: damn right.
ath: *pause* mind you, i wouldn't say no to titus pullo.
me: well, obviously.
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
I have watched up to *counts* episode 6. It is splendiferous. Non-spoilery thoughts: Mark Antony is very hot, especially when naked. I was thinking shameful lustful thoughts about Caesar until I told [livejournal.com profile] athena25, and she pointed out that it's "Julius fucking Caesar!", and then I was thinking shameless lustful thoughts about him instead. Servilla pwns me, as does Atia, Octavia and Octavius (-us?). And, of course, Pullo and Vorenus, who are the best thing since sliced bread. And, also, Northern. How did that happen, then?

Title: Augury (1/1)
Fandom: ROME
Summary: Young Lucius goes to war for he knows not what.

It's my first attempt, and I haven't watched the whole thing, so be gentle, eh? Concrit v. welcome.

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Read more... )

The Cato quote is an actual Cato quote. So there.
kangeiko: (atia of the julii)
So I bought the Rome s1 box-set, and watched the first episode a few days ago. Predictably, I already have my favourites )

That is all for the moment, having only seen the opening episode. Expect more coherence when I've actually watched some more. Also, fic recs, please? Anything Atia-related would make me happy.
kangeiko: (Default)
Back from Rome, tanned and happy and rather tired. I kept a notebook of things we did each day - I know that travel writing is somewhat passe now, but the moment I saw the notebook in question and paid a foolish sum of money for it, I knew that I wanted to fill it with stories and drawings and beautiful things. Of course, having kept it safe for over three years, I almost managed to lose it an hour before arrival!

We arrived on Sunday, and left on Friday - the pictures were taken with three different cameras, so I shall add them on as I get copies of them!


SUNDAY

Our story begins at 5.30pm, Rome time, on Sunday 23rd July, when Brother and myself disembarked from our plane. We were tired and grouchy, as we had been travelling for eight hours - we had a hellishly complicated stopover at Frankfurt - and had sat next to very annoying people on both planes. We headed for the baggage reclaim area and waityed patiently for an hour. During this hour, we managed to collect our main suitcase - but our small shoulder bag never arrived. Full of amusement and some ire, I made my way to the Lost & Found desk, where I waited for over an hour while screaming Italians got seen before me. Eventually, the woman at the desk found out that our bag had been left in Frankfurt... and wouldn't arrive until after the last train from the airport. No amount of threats or cajoling on my part could change the fact that we'd be without the bag for some time.

The bag contained: library-owned "Rough Guide to Rome", my contact lenses, Brother's contact lens solution, all out toiletries and both our cameras. We were, to put it mildly, spitting mad. I'm not going to belabour the tale of the recovery of the bag - suffice to say, I got in touch with my inner European, lost my temper with the head of the reception desk at the hotel, and, lo and behold, the bag was delivered to our room within a day with many, many apologies from all concerned. I am win. The first first impression I thus gathered was, unfortunately, of Rome's officials. All those travel books talking about the epic levels of "I don't care" witnessed in officials? Are unfortunately right. Luckily, the exact same afflicition can be found in Bulgarian officials, so it turns out that I had the proper training in dealing with them. Putty - hands. Anyway, dealing with officials is the downside of being a tourist - the up side was that the non-official Romans we spoke to were very helpful indeed. As my phrasebook was in the accursed bag, I only had "prego" and "grazie" to get by. It seems that it is enough.


MONDAY

Monday morning was spent recovering from the gruelling 12 hours of travel (this inc. time at the FCO airport yelling at people and then waiting at the wrong bit of the station for the bus) and the saga of the Missing Bag. In the afternoon, Brother and I decided to venture out, MB (tm) be damned. I had my phone, after all, and could take pictures, of a sort. (A whole buncha pictures taken with said phone are below...) We qwent to the Colisseum first, mainly because it was cheap and convenient. Our hotel was reachable by the #508 bus from Ponte Mammolo station (we were not to know that there was a hotel-provided air conditioned coach until the next day...), and the Colisseum stop was on the same line.

We got there at about 3pm local time, clutching Brother's Time Out guide and gulping water and, frankly, a little amazed. The Colisseum does not disappoint. It fills the skyline, and is flanked by green - the Palatine Hill, ruins and palm trees, Tourists swarmed like insects across the plaza in front of the building, and here and there you saw a flash of light and of red - people dressed as gladiators and Roman soldiers, obligingly posing for tourists. On the far right was the Arch of Constantine, which covers four ages of Roman history, more or less indiscriminately: the age of Trajan, of Hadrian, of Marcus Aurelius and of Constantine. It really is rather magnificent, but you couldn't get a good look at it (except form too close up) until you're somewhere high up - such as the top of Il Palatino. One of the pictures I took was from up there.

The line to enter the Colisseum was long and didn't move especially quickly, but we were in the shade and drinking water, so we didn't mind overly much. Inside, we opted to skip the tours, and instead explored. Brother was puzzled why the centre of the arena had walls in it. It took my Gladiator-acquired knowledge to explain that those must be the walls of the underground cells, where gladiators and animals were kept and then brought up by a lift to fight when the time came. Who says Hollywood never gave us anything?! Over the walls, on the end of the arena not open to the public, decking had been put down in front of the Emperor's seat. We came out on to the benches by the large cross directly opposite, and wandered from there. We went to the top level using the glass lift, and I immediately fell for the statues of the muses on display there, especially Polyhymnia and Calliope. Mucho love. Spent a silly amount of money in the gift shop on prints and books and the like.

The ticket to the Colisseum also covers Il Palatino as well, so it's twice the value. The walk from the Colisseum to the Palatine was up a cobblestone route, quite steep, with pines on the left and palm trees on the right. The cicadas were humming, and it was thundering - the whole thing had the feel of a movie set. Havana, or maybe even Port Royal out of PotC - certainly something warm, tropical, colonial. The houses were predominantly painted in warm earthy colours, with white plaster scrollwork, and palm trees everywhere. The atmosphere of the place was, however, decidedly European, but somehow - laid back. I suppose the tourist factor helps as well.

When you reach the end of the lane, you are presented with a view of the Fora and the hill itself. I looked at it and the heat, and the humidity, and the ruins and the palm trees - yeah, in my head it looked unreal. It helped to walk through it, splash myself with water from the fountain, sit out facing the garden, walk through the underground cryptopolis tunnels that were built for summer promenades. Still, I didn't retain a clear idea of what the Palentine hill consists of, just the persistent feeling of unreality.

It started to thunder and spit rain at us as we hurriedly left late on in the evening - the plan was, and we remained consistent to it, to eschew the nightlife in favour of spending the days walking and visiting as many things as we could manage. So, back we went to the hotel, for much-needed room service and sleep.

Back

Jul. 29th, 2006 02:25 am
kangeiko: (Default)
Quick note to say that I'm back from Rome - tanned, tired and happy. More details (& all the picspam in the world) when it's not 2.30am.
kangeiko: (Default)
Written as a belated response to the [livejournal.com profile] alias500 challenge, 'CSI episode titles', but it also fits into my [livejournal.com profile] fanfic100 Jack/Arvin table.

Title: Still Life
Author: [livejournal.com profile] kangeiko
Disclaimer: I own them. No, really. That's why I spend my days as an auditor, instead of in loved-up bliss. Look, would this face lie?
Summary: Sydney goes through the debris of her parents' lives.

[livejournal.com profile] fanfic100 # 24: family


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Read more... )


Sorry that I haven't answered emails etc by the way. I rather unexpectedly ended up back at hospital a couple of days ago, and as a result my dosage was increased dramatically. I'm still watching the pretty colours and waving my hands at the walls. Also, off to Rome in a little over a day. I am very excited. I shall reply to emails etc when I return. Love, v.

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