alexandral: (Blade Runner - Do androids)
From [livejournal.com profile] sternflammenden: Five things associated with me:

Fantasy

I am more of a Science Fiction fan, but I also love Fantasy. There is something about the current decade: there isn't too much of new Science Fiction. Strange phenomena, but true. This decade seems to be The Decade of Fantasy Fiction. And I love it!

-House Greyjoy

I love an underdog in fiction. Take, for example, "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. I like Starks as much as any other person, but with Starks, there seems to be SO MANY people out there loving them, discussing every single aspect of their personalities in great detail. So by now I am, frankly speaking, a little bored.

The other problem with a popular House like Starks is that because it has so many followers, it inevitably eventually attracts the attention of two segments of fans whose opinions and posts I like the least of all : 1) posts trying to prove to me how various members of House of Starks are somehow morally superior to everyone else. 2) Posts describing to me in OTT graphic detail how the posters like to have sex with Robb Stark, with naming of the parts they feel the tingling in at the mentioning of his name. My sensibilities are too delicate for this. Plus Robb Stark is 14 in the books and 17-18 in the TV series.

Why am I talking about Starks? Off the high horse, and back to Greyjoys! What I notice is that I am always drawn to underdogs like Greyjoys in fiction, and particular, in fandom. For some reason, here in LJ , the fans of the House Greyjoy seem to be a jolly sane, non-judgmental, open-minded and happy bunch. And the same goes for Sansa/Sandor shippers, but this is definitely digressing. It must be the salt of Greyjoys. :D Back to Greyjoys, I love the opinions and the company of Greyjoy fans and this must add to my general interest in Greyjoys, the craziest (aka the most entertaining) House in "A Song of Ice and Fire" series.

Disclaimer: I am not saying that all posts of the House Stark fans are bad, it is just unfortunately in big fandom segments you are more likely to get someone who posts something crazy or OTT, and for some reason the fans that post crazy things seem to be the "loudest" (somehow the loudness seems to go hand-in-hand with craziness and OTT). But I do love my Starks too.

To show you all how serious I am about the House of Greyjoy, this is a sock I recently purchased for my Android phone:



Asian cinema

I have always been a fan of Asian cinema, but for someone who is not familiar with it I can say one thing of recommendation: Ladies and Gentlemen, Asian cinema is the place where everything is happening nowdays: new ideas, innovative graphics, fabulous actors. One statistical thing: I don't know a single re-make of a Western film in Asia (there must be some, but they are rare). On the other hand, there are so many remakes of Asian movies made in Hollywood that I can count you 10 without thinking hard. One of the re-makes, "The Departed", has even won an Oscar.

Technology

I tend to rattle about this: my job is related to Technology. I am a Systems Analyst which is just another name for the mind-boggling profession of Computer Programmer, or according to Urban Dictionary "Computer Programmer: a) An organism capable of converting caffeine into code. b) Semi-sentient being who inexplicably survives an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. Usually found in confined spaces with low lighting, at a computer terminal. C) This makes attracting females difficult, which can easily be fixed by meeting women through an online service."

I am an atypical programmer, though, because I: a) don't drink too much coffee. I like it, but it makes me too hyper so I don't drink it often, and if I do, I only like "proper" coffee! To clarify, Starbucks coffee is NOT "proper" coffee, and I am not even talking about instant coffee varieties. b) I try to maintain a semi-healthy lifestyle, exercising 2 times a week and trying to eat well, c) I AM a female.

Consequently, I have a loving relationship with technology in general. I am quite lazy by nature which stops me from buying too many new gadgets, but I am never afraid of computers/gadgets/new things and seem to be always capable of harnessing them, given enough time. All these things are my friends, unless they are made by Apple (in which case they are instruments of brainwashing). The only things I am less of a friend with are mechanical devices like printers, they are just less trust-worthy.

To add, my most notable achievement is that my 12-year old daughter still thinks I am cool.

Daughters

Daughters are GREAT. To tell you the truth, I didn't really enjoy giving birth, and neither did I really enjoy the baby period. But now, when my daughter is 12 and we can talk as equals? I am loving it! She is fabulous and cute and I love her so much I definitely know I will do anything for her.

I am in a real worry at the moment because my daughter has her first boyfriend. He seems to be nice but you know, I WORRY! What if he ends up hurting her?

Warrior

Nov. 28th, 2011 11:08 pm
alexandral: (Star Wars - Leia smiling)
Just in case anyone wonders: the State of me:
I am still soooooooo busy at work I can barely think about anything else! My apologies for the less than scarce presence on LJ nowdays. I am alive and all is great, but the work is eating me up.

And today I had a HUGE disappointment : NO NEW EPISODE OF "THE GOOD WIFE" THIS WEEK. The Good Wife is probably the only show I am in serious love (and obsession) with at the moment. It took me a few rounds of thinking to realise that this is because of Thanksgiving. I must note: I do not approve of this habit of USA-based Network companies of not showing new episodes during USA holidays. I DO NOT APPROVE. Surely, this is the prime time for people to sit around the telly and watch their favourite shows? At least British networks understand this and do Christmas specials and such!

Few months ago I promised to myself that I am going to watch at least a film a week? I am still sticking to this, and I have seen some really good films I haven’t had a chance to post about, like Norwegian "The Bothersome Man". This was a great film!

But today is a "No New Episode of Alexandra’s favourite show" day, so I will tell you about "Warrior" instead.

Warrior: or A Clash of Tattoos



Having seen mostly "OMPH, this is awesome" reviews, at the beginning I was completely in a mood to love this film. And to tell the truth, there were some good emotional scenes between The Estranged Father (Nick Nolte) and his two sons in the first half. And there even was "Moby Dick" mentioned (although I still don’t understand why).

But it all went completely downhill in the second half. Let me tell you a little about the plot, especially about the point I found to be the most ridiculous. Brendon (late 30s, early 40-s) used to be an "Ultimate Fighting Championship" fighter. But now he is a teacher, with a beautiful wife and two daughters. He is behind his mortgage payments and about to lose his house. What does he do? He goes back to fighting, where he could be killed/injured/leave his family with nothing. Why? Because he doesn’t contemplate the thought of losing the house, the most important thing in his life. His wife objects at first, but later relents (as a good wifey should) and starts cheering for her hubby when he is smashing other people to a pulp in the Championship. Oh, and his brother Tommy (played by rather delectable Tom Hardy) is in the Championship too and the brothers eventually have a teary re-union..

There was, of course, an awful "Russian" character, the defending champion Koba (by the way, the name is of Georgian, not Russian origin).

Oh, and all the fighters were, of course, white, and the movie wouldn't have passed Bechdel Test. There was one guy of colour at the beginning but he has lost in the first round.

PS: I am especially miffed that the creators dared to use the song of one of my favourite Russian singers and songwriters, Vladimir Visotsky, as the background song for the awful character of monstrous Koba. Visotsky was the voice of freedom in the 80s Russia.. He died really early - conspiracy theories still abound, and to tell the truth his early death seemed terribly "convenient" for USSR government. I could not believe it when Visotsky’s song was used in this way. I am sure the director didn’t bother to check the lyrics, or the singer’s biography.
alexandral: (Art - Vrubel - Demon seating)
We had a "team building" event at work, doing Myers-Briggs Personality tests. This was rather interesting and surprising!

My test came as:

ENTP, which stands for:

Extrovert - "I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.

THIS WAS A SURPRISE (even though I didn't score too high here). I always though of myself as an introvert! And then all my work colleges started saying that I indeed a total extrovert, and I was "OH?? REALLY??" and still not being at all convinced. The trainer, who knows me a bit from the previous courses I had with him also said "Yep. I think you are an extrovert". THIS MADE ME THINK. Learning something new about yourself at my age? Interesting!

Intuitive - Preference for taking in information through a "sixth sense" and noticing what might be (as opposed to concentrating of facts and figures): Ideas, Big picture, Imaginative, Abstract and Theoretical.

Thinking - Preference for organising and structuring information to decide in a logical, objective way (as opposed to a personal, value-based way): Focus on cause and effect, logic, task.

Perceiving - Preference for living a spontaneous and flexible life (as opposed to planned and organised life).

Although I am still not sure about the Extroversion part, the rest is SO ME:

Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.
alexandral: (GoT - anim Drogo come at me bro)
I have done many very nice things on my holiday break. I went out to eat every day of the last week. :D I do like eating out. I can cook, but for me cooking is like programming: you put things in, you get the food out. The only non-programming thing about it is the mess afterwards.

When I cook for guests, I usually use one of my mother's or my friends' recipes I brought with me from Russia. Oh, and I have a nice Indian recipe from a co-worker. When I cook for everyday, I usually cook something "healthy" and fast at the same time (i.e mushrooms + sweet peppers + onions + pesto + penne I am cooking tonight) . I abhor pre-packed meals and I don't like to slave away. Food is just food, after all.

My daughter and I caught up on a lot of TV whilst on holidays:

Haven: It left me fairly lukewarm. I guess I am not fond of "special person" stories. I loved Audrey Parker when she had a promise to be "a normal girl in abnormal circumstances" with some female friends as well as with a couple of male admirers. But it seems that all the other female characters either died or disappeared from Haven and all we have left is a "special" Audrey, a man-magnet with whom everyone is in love with.

Also - Reverend Driscoll is such a "straw Christian".

Merlin: I am still loving my way through the season 4, especially appreciating the fact that something is finally happening in this story. After 3 years, the story is finally moving! There was even a baby dragon hatched by Merlin last week! I loved Merlin to bits for his "I want all dragons to be FREE" speech.

Supernatural season 6: My guilty pleasure of the day. My brain switches off, my eyes sparkle with "Dean! Pretty! Castiel! Awesome!". That is all.

Vampire diaries: I am giving up on this. It just seems to be the same the same the same. Life is too short! It could have been a good guilty pleasure show if not for the fact that Stefan is boring and ugly and Damon seems to be wiggling his eyebrows a little too often.

Endgame: We finished this short-lived show about a Russian chess master with agoraphobia who is solving various crimes from his hotel room. This show did have some potential and Alcina is probably my favourite female character of last year's. I need some gifs from this show, of both Arkady and Alcina.

I have forgotten! Today is Halloween! Getting into the spirit of things, my favourite EVER Halloween-y film is "The Addams family".

MAMUSHKA!!!!!


Halloween! Enjoy yourselves!!!! Eat a lot of chocolate but look after your teeth (I am eating Dark Chocolate Cherry Liqueurs as we speak)!!
alexandral: (Default)
It's holidays! School's half-term! I am also on holidays for a week, and so is Mr.Alexander. We are having all manner of good family time together, all three of us, so I will be off LJ until the next Monday (31st of October).

I hope all of you are having a good time too! Love to all!

PS: We have been caching on some TV as well, and finally watched through the season 3 (and the current episodes of the season 4) of Merlin. So far, I am loving the season 4. It seems somewhat darker and less Disney than the other seasons. What has changed? the new writer? Anyways, I am finally enjoying this show for real, rather than just watching it because my daughter likes to watch it together.
alexandral: (Default)
I rarely rant about political matters, but I do so occasionally. This is the day for ranting because I have not seen anything as scary as current British riots in my life (and I lived through the fall-out from the collapse of USSR which at the time I thought to be the scariest time of my life). I do find it doubly-scary because I have always thought that the level of life and opportunities existing in Britain (even now), even in the poorest places, are much higher than in many many places in less developed countries. So I can not quite understand: why? When there is rioting in third-world countries, like China, it is often attributed to the countries' "regime". What are we to attribute the British riots to? Democracy?

I find the situation scary and I find it appalling. But the thing I do not understand personally is what is happening with the Police and other forces responsible for keeping the peace in the country. Where are they?

For example, there is an article explaining "What could the police do to stop the rioting?" on BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14459127. What it says is that Britain is not comfortable with the use of Water Canons, Baton rounds or Army forces. This is a typical phrase: "British policing traditionally did not rely on such methods" and that "In other countries they'd be deployed in the blink of an eye" (meaning Army forces). But seriously, may be this is the time to reconsider?
alexandral: (Default)
I could not access LJ at all for several days - another DDoS attack? Just managed to do so by using an old version of IE I have for testing, still can't access it through Firefox or Chrome.

Just wanted to say good bye as I am going to Prague for holidays with the family. My love to you all!!!!!! Happy birthdays to everyone having birthdays soon and all good things to everyone!!

** big hugs **

I will be back around 8-9th of August!!!

PS: If you know any news about the LJ issues , please let me know!!!

I am alexandral on Dreamwidth - I hope some of you are there!

alexandral: (GoT - Arya hugs Jon)
I am dutifully buried under a workload or DOOM. I have to make an effort or everything will fall into pieces. Hence, I am taking a self-imposed break until next week. Will be back as soon as the horison clears. I will be checking LJ but probably won't have any time for commenting. I am sure I'll get it all conquered and I do love my job so.

But I want to say that I love you all:

alexandral: (GoT - Jon emo)


I had decided to do a Spring Clean these long spring holidays. So I did. I cleaned not two, not three, but six days in a row, de-cluttering wardrobes, dusting closets, washing walls and doing all other manner of cleaning things. I have not watched nor did much else, apart from the things I watched in Scotland (Doctor Who number 11 on my iPod whom I loved) and some parts of the Royal Wedding (I am British now). My report from the Royal Wedding is short: the Bride's sister was the best dressed lady and the little bridesmaids were awfully cute.

But I had to watch the third episode of Game of Thrones. I have just few things to say: )

PS: Swallow the Sun? I am ashamed to admit that I haven't gone further than the episode 20. My apologies, blueocean80. I will catch up.
alexandral: (Hot Fuzz - Jean Reno has nothing on me)
Happy belated birthday to the loveliest [livejournal.com profile] miss_dian!!!!!!!!!!! ** smooches, hugs, confetti and lots of delicious cake you way ! **

I have almost disappeared from the face of the Earth yesterday because I had a fast and furious love affair with Canadian show "Rookie Blue". Watching the first season in 2 days (13-episodes), yes I can do it! My verdict is: I definitely like Canadian shows, especially Rookie Blue. Rookie Blue is for you if:

- You like women-centric shows. There are 4 strong main female characters in the show (two of them are women of colour) , doing all sorts of awesome things like catching bad guys, winning boxing contests, being good friends and being good mothers and daughters too.

- You like buddy cop shows. Rookie Blue is a Holy Grail of buddy cop shows, in all gender/age combinations.

- You like bromance shows. Chris and Dov are really cute together. There are so many absolutely hilarious scenes with these two. Gregory Smith and Travis Milne have perfect chemistry and comedy timing together.




I did end up shipping a non-canon ship, though, which is really unusual for me. But judge for yourself: what could I do? I know that Andy seems to be happy with lovely homicide detective Luke Callaghan, who is excessively cute and possesses all sorts of good qualities. And he is good looking too.. But I just loved her friendship dynamics with Sam Swarek, her friend and mentor. He just seems to understand her better and he is the only person apart from her best friend Traci whom she lets through her defences.

This is their first meeting: she arrested him on her first day and destroyed his undercover mission:



Sam without shirt )

PS: I am so sorry, [livejournal.com profile] blueocean80 ! I promise to catch up on "Swallow the sun" today, will watch episodes 17 and 18.

PS2: We are having a succession of long weekends starting tomorrow: Easter + Royal Wedding + Spring bank holiday!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEE! I am going to see my friend in Scotland tomorrow, will be back on Sunday.
alexandral: (Rosseau dream)
This week was half-term school holidays week, one of those "madly busy but happy" school holidays weeks with sleepovers, shopping trips and working from home . I have been also madly obsessed with Danish show "Forbrydelsen" ("The Crime" or "The Killing") , of which I watched 20 one-hour episodes in 4 days (a feat even for me). I am still winding down from the ending, but I am happy to say that I guessed the killer in the first episode. This very intelligent whodunit/cross political shenanigans story is already being re-made by Fox.

I have remembered to look through the Russian holiday pictures. I made some pictures of old churches and buildings in the city where my mum and dad live, Serpuhov (my sister lives in Moscow itself). It was one of those gray winter days when the sky is the same colour as the snow:



More photographs )
alexandral: (Farscape - the face of revenge)
Moscow trip was great, but contained some quite extreme weather. We were lucky to fly from Heathrow on the very early morning of the fateful 18th of December. Heathrow was closed at the midday of the same day for 3 days.

We used Lufthansa this year and weren’t at all pleased with this company. The tickets were really cheap but I am not flying by Lufthansa anymore, NO WAY, not ever, because:

- Our luggage was delayed for three days on our way to Moscow (due to our transition in Munich, the luggage somehow got stuck in Munich) , leaving us without essentials for three days. I was not happy! I admit that reports about the 3-day closing of Heathrow and realisation of how lucky we were to be able to successfully fly out of London at all (rather than spend 3 nights in Heathrow) improved my mood considerably, but still – Lufthansa! This is not right!

- Berlin is officially the worst airport I have ever been in. We had a transition in Berlin on the way back from Moscow to London. We were made to go through passport control, walk for what seemed as miles outside (in the cold outdoors) to another building, and queue for full check-in, security and passport control again. Besides, the airport had most confusing signs. I am a bit of a logic freak, but still: A4 and A04 are NOT the same. If you show "A04" on the information displays you must mark the gate as A04, not as A4. And as the icing on the cake, I was pawed by some security lady ALL OVER. I must have had an unpleasant face. BRRRRRRRR!

Complaining aside, the trip was wonderful and I promise to post the pictures. I generally promise proper regular posting (at least 2 times a week).

Fannish life:
I have been catching up on some shows, mainly "Mentalist" and "Good Wife". My daughter discovered a big passion for Mentalist as she generally loves police shows with quirky main characters (Monk, Columbo, etc.), so we had some catching up to do

Films: I haven't seen anything standing out, apart from "Never Let Me Go". The film is definitely beautiful and haunting, and makes one think, BUT there were big buts for me! I have hidden my thoughts behind the spoiler cut, but I must say: the ending is spelled out in the first 2 minutes of the film, so there isn't too much spoilery damage one can do.



Never let me go: Spoilers )
alexandral: (Art - Yerko - The Snow Queen)
Lost in RL, I am otherwise happy and well. PHP Zend certification has been successfully passed (but oh my, this was a hard one!), work is as fine as the work gets : there is always a disaster or two, but this is the world of computer programming, nothing to really worry about. Family is doing well, including all the pets.

I am off to Moscow for two weeks on Saturday the 18th. Dear [livejournal.com profile] rika_66, let's meet again , let's go and eat some Japanese food together! I hope there is plenty of snow and there will be some ice sculptures this year (I promised my daughter ice sculptures, you see).

Speaking of snow, this winter Britain was snowed-over again. And again, I seemed to be the only person who loved it. The photograph below feels me with cold glee:



Speaking of Japanese drama, I am LOVING Nagareboshi. Sometimes I think I like Takenouchi Yutaka more than Takya Kimura, but even more, I adore good old-fashioned sentimental terminal illness + transplant + arranged marriage drama. It feels as if Japanese drama wheels done a full turn : Goodbye dramas about crazy teenagers , Welcome back good old romantic dramas about normal people of normal age!!!!!! An added bonus is gorgeous cinematography and amazing shots of jelly fish.

PS: I promised myself to return to the world of active posting after the New Year, but I am announcing a comment answering amnesty to myself. Thank you so much for the comments!! I know I haven't answered some in the latest posts, but I loved them all!!!!!!!
alexandral: (Harry Potter - Sirius)
My life seems to be in a craziest stage since the time of my long-forgotten youth: work is madly busy, Zend PHP certification exam is approaching too fast (6th of December), I need to write two assignments for the Leadership and Management course (which culminated on 19th of November in consolidation day and my team's win!) by the December 18th, on which day I am flying off to Moscow. Oh, also lately I went to few one-day conferences and as a result London is practically making me sick, especially considering that one of the conferences happened on the day of the Tube Strike. I still hold on tightly to my usual optimistic POV, but only just. If I don't go prematurely all gray, I am due for two Christmas weeks of ice sculptures, ice skating and pancakes in Moscow.

In good news, I finally nailed salchow (A move in figure skating in which the skater jumps from one skate, completes a full rotation, and lands on the other skate) and tea-pot move and completely completed my silver NISA (National Ice Skating Association) level!

I am not even watching anything!!! Well, may be "Lost Girl" and "Gloria", but this is ALL. "Gloria" is safely helping me through this crazy real life spell.



My daughter made me go and watch "Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows 1", which overall was a pleasant surprise. Of course, I am still the same old nay-sayer that is not overly excited by Harry Potter in any shape or form , plus I have a confession to make: I find grown-up Daniel Radcliffe to be somewhat on the creepy side. Where has the pretty boy gone? BUT! To be fair, "Deathly Hallows" was much much better film than the two previous ones. There was enough time given to beautiful landscape shots, there was enough time for characters to talk to each other, and there was enough time devoted to Dobby's death (more time than to Dumbledore's death, actually) and Ron's jokes. Some other excellent things included Ron himself, Hermione in a red dress and Luna's father. Oh, if there are any Hermione/Harry shippers left (although I am not one of them) : I thought "Deathly Hallows number 1" was a really shippy film.

In short, I enjoyed the film, enough to give it 6.5 out of 10 and we had a nice time afterward in Pizza Hut. It took a lot of explaining for my daughter and her friends to understand what the Horcruxes are, though. I blame it on the scrambled-up previous film.

Some more film stills )

PS: Oh where ebooks_crack has gone????????????? I am so very upset!!!
alexandral: (Blage runner - Hang on!!!)
I feel like a terrible LJ traitor, but I doubt that I will be able to post more than once a week during the next couple of month. I must try to stick to "at least once a week". I must. RL has swallowed me whole, by means of preparing for PHP certification exam, work , family and books. In even sadder news, I don't seem to find any Korean drama love, not even tiny piece. I feel sort of bereft and at the same time something always stops me just when I tell to myself "I must watch Korean drama. Everyone likes Sungkyunkwan Scandal".

I have watched few Western shows, in particular I finished the season 2 of "Sons of Anarchy". I still love the show after the end of the second season as much as I loved it after the first episode. "Sons of Anarchy" is not like any other show I have seen, but at the same time I would understand why it might be someone's cup of tea and simultaneously it might be not everyone's cup of tea.



"Sons of anarchy" are for you if you like:

- Women-centric TV. There are several strong female characters in SoA of strength that I have never seen on TV. They are the power and they are the drive of the story. Female matriarch Gemma is the lady I want to be.

- Motorbikes

- Cigars

- Black leather

- Tattoos

- Charlie Hunnam (all scruffy tattooed)

- TV shows that make you think

But "Sons of anarchy" is not for you if you don't like:

- Violence and blood in your TV.

I have found some really nice black and white promotional pictures made for the season 3. I love them, they give the exact feel of the show, with all it's over the top-ness and beauty: Pictures behind the cut )
alexandral: (Art - Crazy whale)
To start with, I must share my computer-happy mood. My home computer is scarily clean and fresh and smells of roses, making me think that may be hard disk re-formatting is what a computer needs once in a while, like spring cleaning? You know, Windows never deletes anything and even if you think you un-installed something, good chances are that this something hangs around somewhere, usurping your hard disk space.

Also we are getting new workstations for work sooooon, with double monitors and all other lovelies. I am a lady that likes clothes and chocolates and shoes as much as anyone else, but still - NOTHING can compare with satisfaction of having a new shiny computer for me. Nothing.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone for recommending all the Firefox add-ons, anti-viruses and all such things! THANK YOU!

Spirited
In a happy happy happy mood, I must share some of the pictures of the new Australian show "Spirited" (a lady dentist leaves her terrible husband , moves into a new apartment, meets a ghost of a forgotten 80-s rock-star) , which has a really good potential. Because:

- Dentists with knives
- Claudia Karvan is great
- quirky humor
- liberation of women
- dorky kids
- ginger cats



Read more... )
alexandral: (Default)
Oh Noes!

My home computer had A BIG problem (was down completely). It seems to have been due to a virus. After unsuccessfully trying to clear the virus out, I gave in and re-installed the system in one clean new sweep , but this always seems to take so much time (even though Mr.Alexander seems to think that I enjoy doing those things and may be he is right)! This is the first time I am on line since Tuesday. My personal files (pictures, Photoshop, etc.) are safe but I had to give up on the downloaded Asian dramas that I had on my internal hard disk. The external hard disk I use for Asian drama is a bit wonky and old, so I wasn't able to copy anything onto it for some reason. But now I have a business case to buy a new terabyte external hard disk and this is gonna be good.

I am still reinstalling things that were installed previously, but everything seems to be well.

I remember someone mentioned a Firefox plug-in that prevents pop-ups, spyware intrusions and all such things? I would be so grateful if anyone recommends it to me!

I hope everyone is well and everything is good !!!! Please let me know of any news, especially of new good things you are watching. At the moment I am liking "Haven" (Emily Rose looks so gorgeously normal and non-skinny). Also what I have seen (1 episode) of the new Australian show "Spirited" seems to be lovely.

Asian drama update
As I have lost all my unfinished Asian dramas with the hard-disk formatting, I am going to call it a day and admit that I am not going to finish all of them right now. Other things are calling me and may be this is for the best.

Good bye for now to:
Barefoot Youth - a good drama with bad subs
Dong Yi - I reached the point when DOng Yi becomes the King's concubine, and nooooo!
IRIS - - makes me bored
Kim Soo Roo - waiting for subs
Que Sera Sera - will get back and marathon this when I have a mood for it
The Slingshot - will get back and marathon this when I have a mood for it
Worlds Within - will get back and marathon this when I have a mood for it

Will download again:
Queen Seon Deok - Episode 40 , still loving Bidam
Gumiho's revenge - episode 10, no-one watching this but I like it
Life is beautiful - episode 9, Gay couple of much cuteness

Finished:
Bad guy - the worst ending in the history
alexandral: (Default)
My huge apologies! I seem to have caught something, am feeling unwell with some kind of bug and laying low. Intend to spend the weekend on the sofa.
alexandral: (True Blood - Pam)
My huge apologies! It always happens to me that after a LJ break I find myself a little slow to get into the habit of posting and commenting again. However, I must start posting regularly again, because my head is full of unexpressed thoughts and opinions (to the point of bursting), hence I have many many fragmented things to say:

1.“Black Dagger Brotherhood” book series (by J.R Ward): I am still obsessed, mostly with the relationship between Qhuinn and Blay . The series have many interesting characters and I am in love with at least 70% of them but Blay and Qhuinn are my favourites. If someone told me a month ago that I will be obsessing over a relationship between two men so much, I would have not believed it. But I guess relationships between two best friends growing into something romantic have always been my thing. I also like vampire fiction. Plus I adore "opposites attract" cliche , and besides, I do love characters with major parental issues and self-destructive behaviour (like Qhuinn) . As a rule, I also adore true-to-the-bone nice guys like Blay.

And the fact that one of the pair (Qhuinn) is totally in denial about the nature of their relationship makes it all even better. To add, there is a genuine obstacle in the way, which is always a huge plus for me (so often romantic pairing obstacles are just invented willy-nilly), as coming out is not an easy thing to do, especially for someone in a rigid “vampire aristocracy” society. Still – I need to find something to move on to, otherwise I will spontaneously combust. The new book in the series is out in April/May 2011- obsessing for 8 months is not healthy!

2.Asian drama recs request: I need to move on to something nice and obsessive-feelings inducing. Ignoring the “Bad Guy” ending disaster, I would love some new Asian drama recommendations. ** puppy eyes ** What is making you obsessed nowdays, ladies and gentlemen?????? Please recommend? I need it!

3.Swimming: I am getting old and my bones are achy, it is true, but I have started swimming!!! Leeds Uni have opened a new shiny swimming pool right next to us and I have been swimming few times already! This is going to be a good addition to my weekly ice-skating sessions. The swimming pool:


4.Broadband Support terror: But the longer I live, the clearer I realise that I do not like talking to Broadband Support People. I get annoyed terribly every time I have to talk to them (is it their patronizing tone? Is it their total lack of any knowledge of what they are supposed to be supporting? ) Our home Broadband was down yesterday, both the Modem and the Wireless Router. I have spent 2 hours on the phone, the time that I am never going to get back, talking to various people... As the result of 2 HOURS OF MY TIME: by 22.00 the modem was fixed but the Router was still not working. At the end, I got too annoyed for words, Googled the Router myself and fixed it. There are three professions in this world that I dislike intensely:

- Parking wardens
- Broadband support
** Disclaimer: I am not really serious, I am sure there are plenty of good folks in these jobs. In fact, one of the guys I spoke to yesterday (the one that fixed the modem) was good.

5.Supernatural season 5 : I am breezing through this show. I am deep in the season 5 now and I find myself liking it. Well, one has to admit that “Supernatural” has a big problem with description of women, as in “Women? Who needs women? What women? Do they even exist? They all are demons!” sense, but still, even though the season 4 was quite useless the season 5 is rather very good so far! Apocalypse! Lucifer walks the Earth! Castiel is great! I wanna see Michael too!

6.True Blood 5.08 - more Eric last week! YUM YUM YUM.

7.I am in a huge Bob Marley moment. I have always loved his music and I periodically go through Bob Marley periods. My favourite song of the moment is “Redemption Song”. Just love it, can’t get enough of "Old pirates, yes they rob I, Sold I to the merchant ships" and "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery". "Burnin’ and Lootin’" and "No woman , no cry" have been my absolute favourites before, but it is time for "Redemption Song". Redemption Song, Youtube clip )
alexandral: (True blood - she was sure)
I have missed you all so so much, please let me know of any major news! My belated birthday wishes to the fantabulous [livejournal.com profile] baleanoptera!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holiday rep:
The holidays were wonderful. Scottish West coast is one of most gorgeous places on Earth. We had wonderful time with our small family and my daughter’s friend: swam in the sea, did long beach walks, biking and even mountain ball rolling. The girls made us play scrabble during the evening , but I had some time to red as well.

Books:

Kresley Cole, Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book 1) - This was absolute rubbish, not even worthy of the paper it was printed on. I haven’t really “read” it as much as I quickly looked through it (and put it promptly in the bin).

Peter F. Hamilton, The Dreaming Void (Void Trilogy) – I liked this one, it was just the kind of mind-bending sci-fi that I tend to like. The only minus is that the book was too huge. I think everything could have been much better if one half of the characters was omitted. I really want to finish reading this trilogy and want to know what happens at the end, but the prospects of reading two more books of this size are daunting.

William Gibson, Neuromancer – great book, true classic. I need to do a proper post on this, if I start talking now I might end up talking too much. :D

J.R. Ward, Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series) – I have promptly gotten myself ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY obsessed with these series. I am still reading through the books properly (book 4 at the moment), but I have read in quick-and-spoilery manner through all 8. And the last one, “Lover Mine” is the best so far. I am obsessed. I can’t say that the series are good and it edges precariously between romance, vampire fiction and porn, but it has done something to my “emotional” side that not many books do.
Plus the vampire world-building part is really quite neat and there are plenty of strong female characters.

“Black Dagger Brotherhood Series” even has got me on board with gay romances. Right. This was something I thought would never interest me, but as always – “never say never” and Blay/Qhuinn (from the last 3-4 books of the series, and "Lover Mine" in particular) is my pairing of this summer, and may be of this year. And may be one of my favourite pairings ever. If they don’t end up together, I am going to hunt the author down. Seriously.

Iain M. Banks “Use of Weapons” – I have finished this on holidays. I love Iain M. Banks and this was the best book in the “Culture” series so far. Really strong , stone-in-your-heart , invade-your-mind, change-your-views kind of book. I was spoiled for the ending (I always spoil myself) but I think I would have guessed the ending anyways.

The result: 7 books in 14 days? This made me happier than anything else, for years it have been bothering me that I can’t read in English as fast as I do in Russian. It seems I am getting better.

TV
Vampire diaries: There were some really good recs on my friends list for this show, so I went ahead and marathoned it last week. And I am glad that I trusted the recs as this series , even though it starts truly badly, ends up to be really quite good , world-building-strong, Angel-like assembly cast show. If you are willing to ignore Stefan/Elena boring romance, that is. Personally, I promptly closed my eyes and had regular naps during Stefan/Elena scenes, and luckily, towards the end there are less and less of these. The guy is ugly and self-righteous and .. boring. Elena is interesting when she is not with Stefan. Stefan’s brother Damon is, of course, the main attraction of the show, and I think the creators realised this truth towards the end. The guy is delicious.

And then there are Bonnie, Caroline/Matt,Tyler and Jeremy , who was my daughter’s favourite. And aunties and uncles and all other interesting characters.

Supernatural: I am ploughing though the season 4 and although I frequently want to ask “What?” types of questions, I think my interest in Castiel is strong enough for me to keep going.

True Blood: I am up to speed with this, still - not really enough Eric. :D

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January 2012

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