Vatican Miracle Examiners: Lauren

Because the last episode didn’t contain the usual thirty seconds of Lauren looking sulky, a review of his first appearance.

lauren 1

Lauren brushes his hair and puts on his nicest hoodie so he can Skype with Hiraga.
lauren 2

Is Roberto making a joke? Hiraga doesn’t really do jokes.

lauren 3

Lauren (thinks): Hiraga, could you confirm something for me? Is that man as stupid as he looks? I didn’t put on my best hoodie for him.

lauren 4

Hiraga is concerned about Lauren’s yandere tendencies. Given the way the Vatican operates in this anime, “yandere” is probably written in his arrest report.
lauren 4-1lauren 5

Lauren, your face is going to freeze that way and then the Vatican will never delete “probably a demon” from your records. Just kidding! The Vatican will never let Lauren go because he is the only one who knows how to order things from Amazon and he lets the pope use his Prime account so he can watch Mozart in the Jungle.

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Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin (autumn is coming)

Every day this week, I’ve been getting Fancy Expensive Coffee because Fancy Expensive Coffee is to Williamsburg what takoyaki is to Osaka: everywhere and delicious. Today, in a budget-minded moment, I stepped into Dunkin Doughnuts and was dismayed by all of the signs promising Pumpkin and Fall. Summer is over and I didn’t… How can summer be over? Did it even begin?

This site was supposed to have two purposes, (1) exchange letters, and (2) reading/watching notes, mostly reading because I don’t watch very many things. The Golden Age is television is passing without much notice from me. I don’t know why tumblr worked better for my reading lists than trying to use this + Goodreads, but it did. Unfortunately, tumblr was such a lonely experience that it wasn’t worth keeping it just to track my books. Now, I’m going to try something different – an actual notebook. It would probably work better if I incorporated it into my planner or writing notebook, but I picked up something cheap and purple at the going-out-of-business sale at a stationery store, and I want to feel like I didn’t waste my money (I did).

What I would like to do is collect some prompts for those times when I don’t particularly feel anything about a book. It’s easy when a book is terrible or brilliant, but there are so many books out there that exist just to keep the reader from having to look at anyone on the train.

the curse of the raven boys

Every time I feel like going online to complain about The Raven Boys, my internet goes out. I got halfway through the book, logged in to wordpress to write about why I wouldn’t be finishing it, and then the internet went out for almost two days. I ended up finishing it, went over to goodreads to give it one star, and then the internet went out for the entire weekend. Earlier, I came here, a crowded Starbucks, logged into goodreads, and got a blank screen. As I hit ctrl-r, I heard waves of discontent roll over the tables. No internet. I picked up my coffee and left.

This post is a bit of a test. If I can get to the end, maybe my internet bad luck will break and I will be able to discuss why The Raven Boys is both incompetently written, baffling, and maybe a little racist..

Who is the coolest cat at Hogwarts?

“If you had read my report you would know that the term is ‘firearms,’” said Mr. Weasley coolly. (p 132)

Fudge looked back down at her, his eyebrows raised. “Very well,” he said coolly. “What is your story?” (p 144)

“Big and wearing cloaks,” repeated Madam Bones coolly, while Fudge snorted derisively. (p 144)

“Well, well, well . . . Patronus Potter,” said Lucius Malfoy coolly. (p 154)

“I’ve supported them since I was six,” said Cho coolly.  (p 231)

“The Tornado-hater?” said Cho rather coolly. (p 283)

“How was practice?” asked Hermione rather coolly half an hour later, as Harry and Ron climbed through the portrait hole into the Gryffindor common room. (p 294)

“Actually, I haven’t,” said Hermione coolly. (p 326)

“So what if I am?” said Hermione coolly, though her face was a little pink. (p 332)

“Of course,” said Hermione coolly. (p 354)

“You tripped,” she repeated coolly. (p 437)

“Where have you been?” asked Umbridge, cutting coolly through Hagrid’s babbling. (p 437)

Fred raised his eyebrows. “Fine,” he said coolly, rummaging in his pockets, “be like that. Don’t tell us anything.” (p 490) [Don’t even get me started on all the characters in The Order of the Phoenix who raise their eyebrows.]

“Lucky you,” said Ginny coolly. (p 500)

“It seems so,” said Snape coolly. (p 533)

“Did you mean to produce a Stinging Hex?” asked Snape coolly. (p 534)

“It’s none of your business if Harry’s been with a hundred girls,” Hermione told Rita coolly. (p 565)

“Either way, he’s still got four legs,” said Hermione coolly. (p 599)

“Not until Montague reappears, and that could take weeks, I dunno where we sent him,” said Fred coolly. (p 627)

“Wait for what?” said Sirius coolly. (p 646)

Lily blinked. “Fine,” she said coolly. (p 648) [Blinking is a nice change from raising eyebrows.]

Ginny raised her eyebrows. “There’s no need to take that tone with me,” she said coolly. (p 735)

“Because in case you hadn’t noticed, you and Hermione are both covered in blood,” she said coolly, “and we know Hagrid lures thestrals with raw meat, so that’s probably why these two turned up in the first place . . .” (p 736)

“Hand over the prophecy and no one need get hurt,” said Malfoy coolly. (p 782)

The answer is Hermione! Hermione is the coolest cat at Hogwarts. In second place is Ginny who says things coolly three times. Fudge, Umbridge, L. Malfoy, Snape, Fred, and Cho are only cool twice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday I saw an old friend and we walked around the city and and ate Japanese food and went to an escape room, which was something I became vaguely aware of after Sherlock S4 because that last (not-good) episode kept getting compared to an escape room and apparently everyone except me had been to one at some point. Working out the puzzles was fun, but I’m clumsy with locks, getting things in and out of a lock at the gym is always a struggle, so entering the codes correctly was a little bit difficult.

Outside there was a poster advertising the film Valerian, and it took me a moment to figure out what it was advertising because the leads looked so sulky and grim that I thought it might be an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw set in space. The last time I thought about Valerian was 10 years ago when a French woman tried to slap me because I said that Fujiko was better than Laureline.

Context: We were well into the second hour of a very expensive nomihodai and we’d been trying to drink our money’s worth in whisky cocktails. It was more than a little awkward because I hadn’t realised it would only be the two of us and I am not exactly the greatest conversationalist, and then for some reason, she ordered shots, which were not included in the nomihodai, but the bartender served because why not. However, tequila reduces my natural shyness, so when her (more than slightly racist) monologue about the terribleness of Japan turned to manga, I stopped smiling and nodding and I objected strongly to her description of Valérian and Laureline as better than anything Japan had to offer. “Laureline is nothing more than a cut-rate Fujiko,” I said. In case she hadn’t understood, “A bargain basement Fujiko,” I added.

“You say that again, I slap you,” she said, and I think it was supposed to be playful, but it came across as super intense, so I started to discreetly edge away (we’d been sitting next to each other on the banquette), but a drunk’s version of discreet is anything but, so I edged myself on to the floor.

She leaned over me, “Some people, they say I look like Laureline.”

“Naaaawwwww,” I said, and started giggling. She harumphed and ordered another round of cocktails, and then when they came, she drank them both. What I’d meant was, you don’t have red hair.

Anyway, now that I think about it, Fujiko/Laureline would be an amazing crossover pairing. And Henry James in Space would be super amazing.

That stroll down memory lane took up my internet time, so now I can’t complain about the book I read today, Virginia Heffernan’s Magic and Loss: the Internet as Art. I agreed with some of its points about the value of the internet, but overall it was so silly and poorly written that I started to question my own beliefs.

Lyric poetry has always been short. That’s why it’s not, for example, epic.

I think that is supposed to be a joke, but it is almost impossible to tell.

I confess to taking gross liberties with traditional books, savoring the rule breaking, skipping forewords, concordances, and boring chapters, while lavishing prurient attention on jacket copy, dedications, and acknowledgments.

Oh, you rebel!

It’s no surprise that the Harry Potter generation, who grew up on serial fantasy fiction set in the labyrinthine hallways of a magic school—as well as on suspenseful literary television like Lost, which is built on cliffhangers, errors, and indirection—have taken to the disorienting pagination of the Kindle and the lost-in-the-funhouse narrative that thrives in ereader form. These are books that defy the miserable school essay format: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them. They are filled with fake-outs and unfulfilled promises. The best Kindle books serialize easily and pulse with suspense that drives the reader emotionally (rather than rationally) through the maze. There are mistakes, redundancies, false starts, red herrings, loose and dead ends. Purity. The Goldfinch. Fifty Shades of Gray. Gone Girl.

Those are all straightforward narratives, I mean, if she thinks they are exceptionally twisty, someone should buy her a copy of Armadale or Lady Audley’s Secret. Additionally, one would think that in a book about the internet, a mention of the internet origins of Fifty Shades wouldn’t be out of place. There’s nothing “lost-in-the-funhouse”, assuming that’s a reference to Barth, about any of those books.

And I can’t even get into the last chapter, which drops the technology theme and rambles on about undergraduate grudges. If I hadn’t been so close to the end, I would’ve given up and gone back to The Raven Boys, which is the last book I dropped (at chapter 4).

Next on my summer reading, either Joshua Cohen’s The Book of Numbers or Heidi Julavits’s The Folded Clock. After that, I should be back to Harry Potter – I’m #6 on the waiting list now for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

rare pair 2017

ETA: As expected, I didn’t manage to come back to edit this before the signup period ended. I had a few comments additional comments on my requests, so in no particular order…

Trainspotting (films).

(a) I would love something shippy set after T2, and I do have to say that I strongly prefer the film version of the characters to the books. I low-key shipped Simon and Mark for years, so T2 was a gift.

(b) If you do take inspiration from the books, I don’t expect it to be written in the style of the books (Scottish orthography, cunt this, cunt that, etc). If you want to, go ahead, but I’m not expecting it.

(c) [Spoilers for Porno] Although in some ways I preferred the Renton/Sick Boy reunion scene in the book, I thought that Renton taking the money was silly and repetitive, in fact, everything about the end of the book was a ridiculous cartoon (airport chase, Begbie waking up like a killer in a slasher film). Sick Boy was a not-fun sociopath (instead of the charming sociopath in the film), and Diane had less character in Porno than she did in her brief scene in T2.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

(a) Albus Dumbledore/Newt Scamander. Albus Dumbledore was something more than a schoolteacher to me. I have no idea what the next film will bring, but I hope Dumblejude spends some time lounging and looking vaguely sinister. I’m not that into teacher/student, so I would prefer a relationship/anything physical to happen until after Newt has been out of Hogwarts for a while.

(b) Albus Dumbledore/Original Percival Graves. I like the idea of the culture clash, New York wizards are Modern and wear trousers and listen to jazz, while British wizards lounge in their musty velvet robes.

Sherlock Holmes

I’ve been rereading the stories, and I had completely forgot how the Lestrade/Gregson rivalry was set up and then dropped. And I’d forgot how annoyed Holmes was when they took the credit for his detective work. Anyway, I’ve always thought they were secretly besties, except that Lestrade considers himself to be the genius detective and Gregson is his sidekick, while Gregson believes the opposite.

I think it goes without saying that Inspector Lestrade and DI Greg Lestrade are completely different characters. I can’t ship DI Lestrade with anyone except Sherlock, so for this request, I would prefer a Lestrade who is closer to Canon or even Granada.

Likes: I like plot and fluff and angst mixed up in various ways. Plotty fluff, angst with a hard-earned happy ending, case fics and adventures, characters enjoying each other’s company, imperfect people cautiously discovering each other, hurt/comfort with more of an emphasis on the comfort. Common fanfic tropes I enjoy are fake-dating & fake-married, characters writing books/blogging about each other, apocalypse, unrealistic amnesia, time travel, and vampires

Do Not Wants: explicit sex, extreme violence, bestiality, bdsm, genderswap, omegaverse, character death

Fandoms: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, T2 Trainspotting, Sherlock Holmes

T2 Trainspotting

sickboy renton T2

A couple of years ago, I was invited to a free screening of a film I was very excited about with the expectation that I would talk it up on social media. I agreed, but then I had serious problems with the film, so I didn’t post anything about it anywhere. So when I had the chance to see an early screening of T2 Trainspotting, I didn’t go. It seemed like an unnecessary nostalgia trip, and I thought I would hate it, especially as I didn’t really like Porno. Ngl, Sick Boy is my favourite character in Trainspotting, and in Porno he is a complete psychopath. A real psychopath, not a Moffat-psychopath.

Well… as a film, it’s not so great, but as the Sick Boy/Renton fanfic I’ve been wanting for 20 years, it is FANTASTIC.

veronica sickboy renton

Veronica: You are clearly in love and should take off all your clothes and fuck. Cheers!

THAT IS NOT COMMENTARY FROM ME, THAT IS ACTUALLY IN THE FILM

Trainspotting T2

A bad man takes their clothes and makes them do bad things. Okay, that is my interpretation, but I think it is valid and so do the cows.

Sick Boy and Renton T2

First, attempted murder. Later, rescue, and then cuddling on the sofa. (In this context, too high to move counts as cuddling.)

In conclusion, the Sick Boy/Renton ship name should be ‘Rent Boy’ even though that is Renton’s nickname in canon, and I may have to reconsider my decision to stop doing Yuletide because that might be the only way to get fic for this film.