alexandral: (True Blood - Pam)
We are going out with our friends tonight, but I just could not miss this. Shamelessly stolen from somewhere else, this is a recent photoshoot of True Blood cast. True Blood is my yearly dose of trashy entertainment love which I will defend against all nay-sayers.

Eric Eric Eric Eric, and the others )

Also, I could not miss the pictures of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that I simultaneously find oh so pretty and somewhat on the funny side. One Soul bracelets promo: Pictures here )
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 [ 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.


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.

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: (True Blood - Eric : come hither)

I have finished the season 2 of "True Blood". Whilst this show still reminds the trashiest, "I would not admit I am watching this to my friends at work" viewing, still, I've sailed through the season 2 quickly and not without enjoyment in the form of Eric, Godric and Pam. I have successfully fast-forwarded the rest, especially endless Maryann and boring orgies. You wouldn't think orgies could be boring? So did I, but that was before I had to sit though not one, not two, not three, but dozens of orgies that looked identically the same. And NOT ONE of them involved Eric. Or Godric. Or Pam. Anything else worthy of mentioning? TV Sookie is much sillier than her book version.

And as it is Friday, it is time for making a picture post with photographs of Alexander Skarsgard! The world is definitely evolving in the right direction – last year when I did a similar post I found it very very hard to find good pictures of Alexander. Now – the world of Internets is full of them.

Pictures!! )
alexandral: (Art - Alexander Rodchenko - mother)
Having successfully once again conquered Google Calendar Application Programming Interface by fixing the problems we had with our Uni's student timetables uploads into the Google Calendar I am feeling quite good. But I am also very tired and brain-dead now so I am celebrating by watching all the episodes of the "True Blood" season 2 in one go. My brain-dead reactions can be shortly summarized as "Eric - YUM YUM YUM. Bill - boo. Jason Stackhouse and his storyline is boring. but at least his penis is left alone in this season which is a great improvement."

I have a big question, though. Why is "True Blood" TV series so different from the books? My mind boggles - I am not usually too worried by small (and even big) deviations between TV shows and books. But when there are so many changes that "True Blood" TV show is 25% of the book and 75% of some other stuff, I don't understand. What is the point of it? How does copyright work in this case? It is like fanfiction or like re-writing the books.
alexandral: (True Blood - vampires)
I have been doing overtime work during the weekend (from home). He-he! Even my mouse gave in, I had to order a new one.

True blood continues to be the trashiest show I have ever seen. That thing with Sookie's brother was totally disgusting. I don't remember all this in the books. In fact I don't remember many other things too. I wish Alan Bell just followed the books, without trying to be too clever with all that "vampires as persecuted minority" nonsense.

But still - ERIC AND PAM!!!!!!!!! So beyond awesome.

I had that mad icon-making urge I get sometimes. Icons are free to share.

.. .. ..

The rest of the icons: )

Pictorial evidence of awesomeness of Pam and Eric (and Sookie had a nice dress!!): )
alexandral: (True Blood - Northman)
Forget all korean dramas , forget forbidden stepsibling love, forget angsty crying in snow wildernesses. Because now we have "True Blood"!!! And it is all about vampires and their human rights!! And of course, the herouine has to stand for the rights of vampires. I want to stand for the rights of vampires too, especially for the rights of Eric. And in order to do so Sookie needs to stroll around the woods dressed as below.

Poor Anne Paquin has completely lost her waist and her torso looks far too short:

The question: Are there any mosquitoes in the woods (looks like this type of woods)??? If anyone is from the Southern states of USA - do you get much of mosquitoes there?

A cute Southern dress )

PS: I am utterly mesmerized.
alexandral: (True Blood - Northman)
"Generation Kill" continues to be great. I am reading anything and everything connected with the show.

One of the facts is the losses in the Iraq war. More than a million are dead on Iraqi side, and the half of this are civilians. The population of Iraq is about 20 million and this means 1 in 20 is dead. The losses on the USA and allies side are around 4000, one for 250 on Iraqi side.

I came across an interview with real Brad Colbert (you can find a piece of it on the HBO Generation Kill website , in Brad Corbert's profile) . His looks are quite similar to the looks of Alexander Skarsgard, but in the interview he seemed to be quite a different guy from the TV show Brad. I must say, I didn't like the real Brad Colbert as much as I like Alexander Skarsgard's Brad Colbert. The real Brad seems to come across as a guy with a big dose of American patriotism, "I wanted to be a marine since I was a little boy" type of guy, where Alexander Skarsgard plays a more complex character. As [ profile] the_grynne noted, the phrases like "Vote Republican" don't seem to sit well with the TV show's Brad.
One particular phrase irked me in the interview, something about "Why did I want to become a marine .. may be because of all the travel and adventure".

But to end it all on a happy (if somewhat shallow note), a new promotional photo for HBO's "True Blood" Eric (played by Alexander Skarsgard) is out, big thank you to [ profile] endlessdeep:

The full-size picture )
alexandral: (Yerko - old souceress)
OMPH! I was informed by fabulous [ profile] the_grynne and fabulous [ profile] endlessdeep that the role of Eric is NOT missing from HBO's "True Blood" (TV adaptation of "Southern Vampire" book series). On a contrary, it is played by "all your dreams come true at once" Alexander Skarsgard. Who is Scandinavian, good looking to a crazy degree and 6ft 4 inches tall.

More of Alexander Skarsgard pictures )

PS: Does anyone know any film he is in? Is he any good at acting?
alexandral: (Vampire Knight - Kaname)
Charlaine Harris' "Southern Vampire" series consists of 8 books so far, starting with "Dead Until Dark". If you like your books well-written, please give this one a miss. I thought the herouine could have been Mary Sue to the extreme, but to be fair at least the books had a slightly contrived explanation for why every person of every gender falls in love with her (she is a supernatural being herself). The thing I liked the least was the very poor quality of writing. The worst book of the series for me was "Dead as a Doornail" because I had to read it in atrocious translation onto Russian which made even Harris' dialogue look supper-intelligent.
However I galloped through the books in two long nights because I loved the character of Eric who is their redeeming feature (and such a good one too!). ERIC ERIC ERIC ERIC ERIC ERIC ERIC. Sometimes I fall in love with a character in a book which I don't even like and this can change my perception of the book in some instances...

The vampire genre seems to bring the worst out of the writers. I am a huge fan of it but there are only few books about vampires (or containing vampires) that I thought were good (in no order, I feel there must be more but I can't rememebr any):

1. Dresden Files Series. This is not about vampires only, but about all things supernatural and the main hero is a wizard residing in Chicago. I would recommend these books for the many characteristics of good serial fiction : strong world building, humour, numerous characters you will care for (including vampires). Jim Butcher has a way with words and writes great fun: wars between wizards and vampires, fairy queens , fallen angels, demons, named swords... everything.

2. Vampire Knight. This is series of Japanese manga (graphic novels) and anime. Very much young-adult oriented series but your inner teen may like it too. The main herouine Yuuki is lovely. For one thing, I understand why the two main guys are in love with her: she is brave, loyal and ready to do anything for her friends. The series is a well-done gothic take on teenage sexuality.

3.Aleksey Tolstoy, "Upir". Upir is the old Slavonic word for a vampire. This is series of short stories which was the beginning of my interest to vampires. It is a great one for the lovers of folklore and extremely scary.

True Blood : The pilot episode of this HBO series based on Charlaine Harris "Southern Vampire" series could be found in some places. Somehow, though the events seem to be the same as in "Dead Until Dark", the TV episode gave me a totally different feel. I liked the pilot of "True Blood" (considering this is the worst title of all times) and I thought it was more of "my thing" than the books.

But it seems that quite a big part of the dialogue has been changed (for the best!) and Anne Paguin plays a much deeper character than Sookie-of-the-book is. I am looking forward to the continuation of the series in September.

But - OH HORROR! I looked and looked in the character lists but I could not find Eric. Why???? He is not there? He is not among mains characters in the first book but he is quite essential even there! ** rants **


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January 2012

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