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: (Rosseau dream)
I am fully back with "Supernatural" love because the season 5 was quite good. Both my daughter and I watched it with interest (and isn't it great to have someone to watch things with me - we seem to have similar tastes!!!) . To be honest, the ending of the season was quite week and very anti-climatic, but there were plenty of good episodes in the season. The best episodes for me were the ones with the Four Horsemen, and the episode 5.21, the one with Death, Pale Rider, is most definitely one of the strongest episodes of the entire series.

Death gives Dean his ring, he is not keen on Lucifer and wants him back in the cage.


This episode included one of my most favourite blue grass songs, "O Death", in a fantastic interpretation:

1. This is the actual scene that used the song (episode 5.21) from Youtube, for some reason unembeddable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EzU9sLQ6I&feature=related

2. "Oh Death" sang by Jen Titus:More from Youtube )
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
alexandral: (Supernatural - Dean - pondering)
I do get an occasional "dumb day" and it is today. May be I overdid jogging yesterday and my body is saying "hang on, dearie! Let's have a rest!"..

The Wire
But something very cheerful happened to me today – I have "addicted" one of our guys from work to the excellence that "The Wire" series is.. He watched the first season in one weekend! He thinks that this is the best thing EVER (of course!!!) ! He is going to buy "The Wire" DVDs for himself!!!!!!

Angel season 1
I am plodding along with this and I like it very much, especially when Angel stops brooding and starts smiling in a cute unsure manner and saying something that is light and not TRAGIC and important. This usually happens when he is around Cordelia so I am very much shipping them together. But I am a little miffed )

Supernatural, The kids are all right
It was probably one of the best single episodes over the course of this show. to hide spoilers away )

Boots
Something I promised to [livejournal.com profile] endlessdeep: my small collection of BOOTS. I probably I need to add "shoes" to my list of interests.

Boots in pictures )
alexandral: (Supernatural - Dean - pondering)
Moonlight
- I finally watched "Moonlight" and I liked it. A LOT. First I shall get out of the way all the things that are bad in this show (only in my own opinion, of course!). I like vampire stories, I honestly do. I have been reading and watching various stories about supernatural since I was at school and first red Alexey Konstantinovich Tolstoy's (don't confuse with Lev nikolaevich Tolstoy, the author of "Anna Karenina") most excellent "Vurdalak" . Vurdalak is another word for Vampire in Russian (the word Vampire also exists in Russian) but really more in the old Slavonic legends sense. A. Tolstoy had a whole series of short stories derived from old Slavonic legends and all of them are incredible but in a very scary, no punches, no nice vampires way. All this said, I think I am coming to the end of my tether with Vampire stories on TV. I think if I see another Vampire story anywhere soon I am going to go crazy (well, this is exaggeration, of course :D) Seriously - What is it with Vampire stories nowdays? Why are there so many of them all over sudden? "Blood ties" and "Moonlight" can be twins!!!!

- But what is really wrong with "Moonlight" (apart of the whole "just another show about the same thing among a hundred of others" curse) that "Moonlight" is made in a strangely odd and "plastic" way and I wonder what sort of drugs the guy responsible for it's cinematography is taking. In this day and age students at media courses do better than this.

+ Now all the bad stuff is out of the way I get to the part where I loooooved the first episode of "Moonlight". (And I even watched it twice). Because I am totally irrational and I take it that the Vampire story line is not important in "Moonlight" but the story line about one cursed love is. And the chemistry and interaction between Alex O'Loughlin and Sophia Myles in the first episode was great and fabulous. The first time she touched him? It was so wonderful! Everything about "Moonlight" promises tons of guilty pleasure and clichés but I like it. :D And may be I will be the only person who loves "Moonlight" but I feel I'll persevere and I am with it till the end. Also Alex O'Loughlin is scrummy and how would you not like this )

Bionic woman I have watched the second episode and I am giving up on this. Michelle Ryan is as bad as she was during her "East Enders" days, Katee Sackhoff is pretty but the show is quite useless.

Supernatural Oh, how I missed you! Sam! Dean! Pretty! New long arch with the demons that escaped Hell at the end of the season two! Mysterious Ruby! I think she is a new romantic interest for Sam but what do you think? Does anyone know if Jo is returning or not?
This show wasn't my favourite when it started but it is really catching up in quality and it is so NICE to look at. I enjoy it so much and it isn't even a guilty pleasure for me anymore – I think the show that stayed good through two seasons and seems to be getting better again totally deserves all recognition it gets.

Dean is saying that he could not live with Sam being dead )

Dexter I have spoiled myself for the first two episodes of the season two, but isn't it a very, very interesting beginning? It kept me on the edge of my seat so many times!

House Hmm. I have always thought that I am in this show because of Hugh Laurie. But now I have realized that no, I wasn't .The first two episodes of "House" without Cameron, Chase and Foreman were rather quite boring for me. May be some of House's jokes are getting too old for me too but I am not sure yet – it could be that I am just missing Cameron, House and Chase.

Jorneyman Hmm. I am involved and I am bored at the same time. I find the story about Dan's family and his past interesting to watch but the stories about people from the past leave me cold yet.

Angel I am stuck on "In the dark" episode, namely on the torture scene with the "evil Nazi doctor" guy.. I feel that I have seen the exactly same scene so many times (especially in "Buffy") that it is getting quite tiring, especially considering I don't have any worries about Angel's future (he has to last 5 seasons, after all!) BUT! I love Doyle! And YAY to his REAL Irish accent!

PS Have a nice weekend, everyone! I feel a little drained – I think it must be the time to start jogging again ( I had a two –week break) .
alexandral: (Supernatural - Dean - pondering)
My daughter's sleep-over party extravaganza went much better and easier than I expected. Girls did sleep quite a bit of their sleep-over time (8 hours !!!! Weee!) and the rest of time they were happy without big fall outs or any other drama. May be I can do this again. :D

London trip I am off to London tomorrow. About 2 months ago we applied for Russian citizenship for my daughter and this was successful. Now I need to apply for a Russian passport for her (as in a piece of paper sense). Hopefully this should not take too long. But still Russian embassy in London is on of the most unfriendly places that have ever existed and it's officers like to shout at you unduly. Plus they like to change their rules and make many difficulties for the applicants. I will be glad when it is over.

But because this time I am going on my own and hopefully should have some time to enjoy London.. It would be fantastic if you could recommend some interesting places in London to visit?

Fannish bunch of things: Supernatural and La Femme Nikita

Supernatural finale was great, much better then I expected. the rest of glee is hidden because it is spoilery )
Yes, it was a fabulous end of the season with some very nice special effects. My wish list for the next season – Please, please, please dear creators, can you write some interesting romantic interests for Winchester brothers? Pretty please again..

La Femme Nikita This is absolutely marvellous! I started watching it from [livejournal.com profile] miss_dian's recommendation and – OMPH! SQUEEE! Why haven't I watched this before????? I really like it. It absolutely deserves it's own post with pictures but for now I am just going to squee some more for a bit. Both Nikita and her handler Michael are very cool and amazingly attractive and they are already prepared for a passionate forbidden love story. He was kissing her hand in the episode 4 !!! And Roy Dupius who is playing Michael has some very sweet accent! I just have read that he was born in Canada. Is this how Canadian accent sounds?? I am moving to Canada ASAP!

Dorama land: This is where I am going to eat my hat. :D I watched some more of "Proposal Daisakusen" and "Sapuri" and I am really liking them both.

Sapuri
In the episode 2 we see more of the inner-world of both Minami and Ishida Yuya and I am starting to like both of these so different individuals. Ishida Yuya seems to have that child-like wonder in him that is very endearing. Also there is something in the tone of the drama that is reminding me of "Anego", it is light and deep at the same time. But feel I am such an old lady because I can't stop thinking that Kame needs a haircut and a big roast dinner. Desperately.

Proposal Daisakusen Second and third episodes were lovely. My eyes went misty a couple of times, especially in the second episode. The story with coffee milk was cute, sweet and wonderful. I think I like the main message of this drama – our destiny isn't ruled by one or two important events but it is built day by day in a chain of daily insignificant occurrences. But again! I am finally turning into an old lady for sure ** weeps ** because I think Yamapi needs a haircut too! Or may be he needs to dye his hair as [livejournal.com profile] scottishlass suggested. But something is not quite right. ** sigh **

Mawang I can't wait for the new episodes to be subtitled. I scouted in the soompi forums and spoilers are driving me crazy!!

Mawang screencaps and videos. I desperately want to understand what they are saying to each other in these gorgeous scenes! )

Have a good Monday everyone!
alexandral: (Default)
Kamenashi Kazuya/KAT-TUN/Yamapi/ Nobuta wo Produce/ Kurosagi
Fabulous [livejournal.com profile] winterspel made a great post promoting music clips of Japanese singer/actor Kamenashi Kazuya and Japanese boy band "KAT-TUN". I have been listening to these clips on and off and I am pleasantly surprised. The standard of music and voices is quite high. The standard of dancing is even higher, in fact, it is probably one of the best of what I have seen so far anywhere . Saying all this, I was never especially keen on pop music so I can safely say that I probably will never turn into crazy "KAT-TUN" fan girl. But much, much thanks to [livejournal.com profile] winterspel, it is very interesting culturally to get to know more about Asian entertainment.

And yes, I have almost forgotten, – I liked Yamashita Tomohisa the best in the video clips. To celebrate this, I am watching "Nobuta wo Produce" and "Kurosagi" at the same time. I love love love quirky and clever and crazy "Nobuta wo Produce" to bits (and more about this later) and I liked the first episode of "Kurosagi" very much too. I am not sure about the quality of the script and the swindling story was somehow very naïve, but the presence of Yamapi compensates for script’s pitfalls in spades.

Supernatural, Simon Said )

BSG, up to episode 5 (or 4) )

Films: The truth about cats and dogs
EEEEEEEE! This is such a fabulous film. I don’t have much time left and have to rush home, but - OMPH! Clever articulate girls rule! Dogs and cats rule! Female friendship rules!! Usually female friendship is shown as weakish and falling under the blows of stronger attachments, but not in this film! I just want to hug the writer for this.

Couple of CUTE screencaps from The truth about the cats and dogs )
alexandral: (Supernatural - Dean - pondering)
Supernatural I couldn’t think straight all through “ Children shouldn’t play with dead things” because Dean was sporting some dark blue jacket and it somehow made him even more attractive then usual.. ** sigh **. I made screencaps and now I want to make some icons. Yep, it means I am really getting into this show. And then Dean was opening a little to Sam and that was so sweet. And the episode itself was kind of scary.

Deadwood season 1 Again – not much of non-shallow information, even though I went all crazy and watched episode 1 THREE times. ( I was trying to concentrate hard and understand what is going and I was making screen caps). But – Oh my poor heart! You were melted every other 3 minutes because of some incredibly soft notes in Seth Bullock’s voice. And he is so self-assured at the same time. And Wild Bill Hickok’s eyes are so very blue. But the main thing – PIGS!!!!!!! They eat people!!! This put me off my bacon for a while :).

The Nine, episode 4: Very good episode. The ratings are still low? Why? People just want escapist stories? This is a very very good show!!! My favourite character is Malcolm. And he is awesome. Plus Nick is fitting into my "types" and "ideals" to a tee. Conflicted, cool , composed, commanding. And he has that half smile!!!

Tim Daly as Nick , picspam. Look at all this coolness!! )
alexandral: (Supernatural - Dean - pondering)
+ I spend the good part of my Monday in the Sheffield teaching dentistry hospital. The thing is, I have one tooth which had nerve removed and filling made 17 years ago in Russia. This tooth became a main star of the show on Monday. I had to make x-rays of three different shapes and forms, and then all the students and tutors alike spent about 30 minutes discussing how bad my Russian dentistry work is and saying things like “Oh what are we going to do now??” They decided to let it be for now, but apparently they have not seen anything like it in their entire life. Hee! That was my moment of fame. :)

+ EEEE! Look at this! Because I helped my friend to put her web-site on-line she unexpectedly has sent me this fabulous necklace from Finland! I absolutely adore jewellery and in this sense I am a total magpie who likes all things shiny. And this necklace is lovely and looks very Scandinavian to me! I am so very happy!

Fabulous Scandinavian necklace )

+ I have watched the first episode of "The Nine" Very interesting, but I can’t say more yet. I am definitely going to watch this – in this show there seems to be an attempt made to analyse/understand an effect of the hostage situation on hostages. This is an interesting subject from the start. It could be just me, but I think that in the recent films/shows about the terrorism there is too much emphasis on the terror-makers and their views and too little on the normal people who just happened to be involved in the terrorist attacks/hostage situations.

+ I have found my "Supernatural" love in this season. From the start of season 2 I am feeling very involved. Yes, brothers Winchester are pretty and all sorts of gorgeous and always have been. But there seems to be an improvement in the quality of the episodes and also there seems to be more emphasis made on their character development. Where before brothers seemed to be some sort of cardboard figures they are opening to be more of the interesting human beings now.

To celebrate this, couple of the pictures of Winchester brothers )

+ And I fell in love with the Korea drama "A love to kill", or to say more precisely, with it’s main protagonist Kang Bog-ku (portrayed by the gorgeous Korean star Rain). Some more on A Love to Kill that I posted in [livejournal.com profile] dorama_chat
alexandral: (Default)
+ My ironing is not done yet!! How terrible! And tomorrow is the work day already!!! ** Hear tearing **. I must, must finish it today.

+ My Asian drama mania continues. I feel very sleep-deprived again because I was staying very late yesterday and watching "Full House" - Korean drama about complicated relationships of an actor and an Internet writer. First impressions from Full House and pictures I posted in [livejournal.com profile] dorama_chat

+ I was making dorama icons this weekend; I haven't finished them yet, though :(

+ I have watched some of "Jane Eyre". Meep. I am not sure if I like it. Toby Stephens is almost awesome in the scenes where Rochester plays his strange little games with Jane (Oh his smirk!!!) but I feel that this adaptation lacks the passion for me. I don't know if this is "just me" but I have always perceived "Jane Eyre" to be a very passionate tale. For me it holds more passion then "Wuthering Heights". Hmm. I must watch some more, but..

+ I have watched season 2 premiere of Supernatural and it was great! I think this was the first episode in "Supernatural" which really "got me". It is not just supernaturally-attractive Dean, but much more! I don't know how if this going to last or not, but GREAT!!!

+ Season 3 premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" left me with cold feelings. It seemed like anti-climax after the season's 2 finale. And I am not keen on Meredith/Mc Dreamy, never was, sorry!!!! He is a type of guy I don't like in RL and like even less in fiction - he will always make his woman feel guilty about everything he is guilty of and he will never make her happy.

+ I am back to working at the charity shop after the holidays we had in August and I am buying too many books! Honestly - our charity shop is the best place for books!!!

+ I am so tired and in a rush to start making dinner (chicken with white wine sauce :) - I apologise for spelling and grammar!

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January 2012

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