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Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

Revolution

October 3rd, 2012 (11:39 pm)

Just started watching Revolution.

It's not bad, for an alt-future dystopia. Unfortunately it's currently suffering from "Lack of Beth's Favourite Parts of Dies The Fire"-ness. And considering the premise, the fact that I'm currenty able to compare it to a series that likes belabouring the details is making it suffer.

Guns work. Did we just Alien-Space-Bat all the electricity out of existence and leave the guns behind? Poor form, TV show; the no-gun rule made the schitzo tech of Dies the Fire more fun.

Also I want my crazy SCA people, my kilts, and my cannibals. (poutpoutpout)

I'm also having a very hard time believing in the costuming. Sure guys, after 15 years of course there is cotton to make new ACDC shirts from, and your plastics industry is still functioning to allow you to print shiny lettering onto the shirt. There's been no big die-off due to millions of people starving to death or dying of disease, we can still support industry on that scale.

Or, alternatively, Fat Geek Guy had a stockpile of 10 ACDC shirts prior to the Blackout that allows him to be wearing a new-looking unfaded shirt. In a world where the washing has to be done by hand. Sure.

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

(no subject)

September 3rd, 2012 (12:59 pm)

In the middle of a reread of A Rising Thunder.

Now, I know no one ever accused the Sollies of long term thinking or general awareness, but Beowulf's been part of the Solarian Alliance since it was formed.

You'd think the Solly politicians and bureaucrats might just have twigged by now to the fact that Beowulf froths at the mouth at the very word 'Mesa', and are not exactly known for their rationality when the subject comes up.

And if Manticore, Beowulf's long term trading partner, KingdomEmpire all of about 1 day's travel away due to the Beowulf terminus of the Manticore Junction, says to Beowulf "We found out that Mesa is Up To Something. Here's our proof", Beowulf's basic reaction is not going to be "That's nice, we should bring this to the attention of the Solarian League", but more along the lines of "How soon can we wipe these surviving Detweilers off the face of the universe? Here's some military and financial support; how much more would you like?"

Beowulf's reaction to the news should have been anticipated. Even considering the Corrupt Bureaucrats. The actions, loyalty and general make-up of the Beowulf Biological Survey Corps is not exactly a well kept secret.

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

Advice to my 15 Year Old Self:

August 11th, 2012 (11:39 pm)
cold

current mood: cold

Never say never. It'll come back and bite you.

10 years ago I was firmly convinced I was not going to be involved in community musical theatre. Not interested, thanks. About 9.5 years ago I got dragged in to help as Mum couldn't be there for a performance and fell in love. The rest is history: I've crewed a long, long list of shows, and am quite a competent ASM and Stage Manager these days.

Today: I did what I spent 3 whole years telling people I did not do. I was a professional cheerleader at an NRL match.

Cheerleading in Australia is still a case of reciting to disbelieving people "No, I'm not an NRL cheerleader, wearing little to no clothing and shaking pom poms. I do American-style/competition cheerleading. Have you seen Bring It On? The girls throwing people in the air and with crazy flips and stuff? I do that sort of cheerleading. It's a sport."

Well, today I put on a West Tigers Cheerleader uniform and sat in the freezing cold in the rain and cheered for a NRL game. Look, Tigers are the only cheer squad who have a proper stunt cheer squad. It's coached by my own coaches. They were desperately short bodies for this weekend and asked me to fill in. As far as it goes... I was still in my own comfort zone. Still my sort of cheer.

And since I had an hour on Thursday to pick up the routine, with only other members of the 14 person squad there to help, I'm super proud of myself that one of my coaches told me after the game that he was really happy - he hadn't noticed me at all in the routine. This is important - you're only noticeable if you stuff up, you're featured for something, or if you're a flyer. I did none of those things. :D

And now I am home and warm and wearing something on my legs, which turned blue with goosebumps tonight. Even the laprug I was sharing with two other girls didn't help that much.

(Oh Cheer: I just met you, and this is crazy, but we're both freezing, so snuggle maybe?)

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

Sport and Trusting Coaches

June 15th, 2012 (06:54 am)
cheerful

current mood: cheerful

I was at training tonight, and Stef started asking me what seemed like random questions (did you do long distance running as a kid? Yes. Did you sprint? Yes, but I sucked at it). I answered each and every one without hesitation.

He was trying to convince me I needed to work on my fast twitch muscle fibres. Which is completely true, as I tend to be a boy with my tumbling and muscle through it.

And I realised that 20 years of sports training and coaches has meant that there are some things that 'normal' girls would hesitate to tell someone, that I'm comfortable rattling off.

I'll tell you my body weight (Cheer and Taekwondo. Weight is important). I'll tell you my bra size and if it changes (Diving. The year I grew breasts over the winter was a miserable one, since I had to relearn my centre of balance and how to rotate. Also affected my gymnastics, but those first few dives HURT). I'll tell you what I ate today. If something hurts.

I automatically will say, after a dive or stunt or tumble pass, what I did wrong in it and what I need to work on next time (years and years of coaching and innate bodily awareness. The other people I know who do this without prompting also have had coaches critiquing them for years who demand that you tell them what happened, to improve your spatial awareness). I'll tell a friend one thing to fix if I'm watching them.

I'll throw dangerous things since my coaches tell me I'm ready to. And fight down that mental voice that panics. I'm much, much better at winning the argument over Freaking Out Brain than I was in my teens.

I found that the best way to make yourself actually stretch properly and do every skill with the best technique you know, is to be paying for training yourself. Nothing focuses your mind like being the one handing over the money.

And I glow when my coaches tell me I've been getting better.

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

Fanon Time!

April 24th, 2012 (01:32 pm)

Topic: The Dresden Files.

In the middle of a series reread. Currently at White Night.

Favourite character: Lash. Then Ivy and Mouse.

Favourite moment in the series so far: While Sue is undoubtably epic, I love the Fellowship of the Ring conversation and Lash's sacrifice, for very different reasons. Any time Lea is chewing on the scenery is usually pretty awesome, too.

Best OMG moment in the series so far: "And the parasite kept your heart pumping". Mostly because I am a pathetic fangirl. It can only be Lash or Margaret.

Favourite general fanon: Lash's return. Which makes sense, seeing as it took about three books post Harry burning his hand for him to regain a decent level of function from it. The books run on approximately one-a-year. White Night was book 9. The 'female voice' occurred at the end of Changes, which was book 12. Enough brain cells should have regenerated to reconnect pathways and allow Lash control of Harry's body again for Ghost Story.

Favourite personal fanon: The Black Council is the same organisation as The Black Cloak Society from King's Quest. This will never happen in the books, of course, for vaious sensible reasons. But if I got around to writing fanfic for The Dresden Files, there would be a Black Council sorceror who got turned into a cat by his runaway apprentice.

Favourite theory: Most of my friends complained about the level in badass Butters took prior to Ghost Story. But Butters didn't actually take a level in badass... he took a level in Bob. Bob's the Spirit of Air and Intellect. He LOVES knowledge. We're used to seeing Bob through Harry's eyes, and Bob raised Harry from the age of 16. They're ridiculously codependent on each other, and part of why Harry such a powerful wizard isn't only that his mother and grandfather are both such badasses, but his magical study and understanding has largely come from Bob. Think of access to Bob as access to Magic Internet. And Butters, curious, geeky Butters, gets his hands on Bob, who starts answering his questions, and conforms to the attitude and views of his owner. Of course Butters got a power up - he powered-up in the direction of his interest in magic. Bob-with-Butters is not the same Bob as Bob-with-Harry.

We only never noticed this about Harry earlier, because, as I pointed out, Harry and Bob have been together since Harry was 16. And Harry's shaped Bob at least as heavily as Bob's shaped Harry. (Hello, Evil Bob)

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

*amused*

March 30th, 2012 (08:26 pm)

Oh, All-Star Cheer. Watching your reaction to the world ending is kinda hilarious.

Yes:
- The new tumbling rules were fairly ill-considered.
- The new costuming and makeup rules for guys is sexist and heteronormative.
- I'm personally iritated by the new bow rules if the 3 inch rule is total width, not ribbon width. (Byebye bunny ears).
- Banning cheerleaders from glitter is just asking for trouble.

But seriously. Putting a minimum age on the Senior teams is a sensible plan, and upping Open Level 5 to 17+ evens the playing field out. There is a huge difference between a team flying 14 year olds and 17 year olds. Acknowledging that fact is not wrong.

USASF is trying to rein in some of the inappropriate excesses with the costuming and music rules. Yes, I think the wording is possibly a bit too strict about it, particularly about the music choices. But they're clearly just trying to shift the costuming back to being slightly less Toddler & Tiaraish. Your top should not look like it's going to come off if you breathe wrong.

Spelling out the exact rules on what sort of shorts and skirts are inappropriate is just sensible: we've all seen the teams with belt skirts, I've flown people who weren't wearing spankies, and clearly outlining the point that you should be able to wear your uniform in public is not that big an ask.

On the midriff issue - well, I'm used to Australia, where most gyms only put midriffs on their seniors and opens anyway. Desexualising the pre-teens will only make it more parent-friendly. And if anyone whinges about the 10inch rule - I have a fairly long torso. I checked. 10 inches is from the bottom of a crop top to the top of my hipbones. Anything more than that for a uniform is probably in skank territory, the measurement is generous enough for most uniforms. (And yes, while I've trained wearing less than that, with a bigger gap, it's around my teammates. Not the babies or their parents)

On the cover-up rules: Look, I'm used to spending most of a comp in my team shirt and skirt/shorts anyway, since they tend to be hot, sweaty places where I'm running around a lot, and wearing my uniform for that is uncomfortable. Have I worn less at a comp? Yes. Is implementing rules so that we have to keep our torsos covered apart from when we are warming up or competing a bit harsh? Yes, but they're once again trying to rein in people walking around in similar amounts of clothing to a bikini. Stop thinking about it as covering up your uniform, and think of it more as looking appropriate to the general public who might be nearby.

Look. They've said they're going to reconsider the tumble rules. Calm down and watch to see what they come out with, eh?

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

Hunger Games

March 16th, 2012 (12:43 pm)

Since the first movie is coming out and I always hate myself for seeing movies prior to reading books, I got my act together and blew through the Hunger Games series this week.

They're good. I had trouble putting them down, in fact. They have that solid, appealing feel to them that no doubt makes teenagers fall head-over-heels overinvested in the series.

However, this is not a fandom that's going to catch me in it. I'm too old for it.

While Katniss is a strong female character, discovering the dark depths to which the world around her can force her, I've read her before. I've loved her and wildly fanficed in my head for her before.

For me, she was Ellie Linton (of the Tomorrow When the War Began books) and Joelle (of Galax-arena).

The desperation to protect her family, the darkness she found in her soul to keep herself alive and fighting in a terrible situation, the psychotic breaks with reality... I lived through them with Ellie and Joelle in my early teens.

I am in no way saying that Ellie or Joelle are superior to Katniss. I'm saying that, for me, I already know her character, and I'm no longer the impressionable teen who'll live through her, since I've already done that.

The Hunger Games have that allure of Really Good Books. But while I love my YA, I'm now too old and experienced for this one to worm into my heart.

(Actually, Katniss' first psychotic break explained to me why the books just felt that slight bit off and lacking in that special magic to me. She starts raving and wakes up in bed, followed by an explanation of how stuff just went down. My brain clicked over and goes "Hello, Ellie". The deja vu hit like a freight train.)

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

The "Hey, stuff that's going on in my life" post.

January 25th, 2012 (06:58 pm)
cheerful

current mood: cheerful

A new year.

My job is opening a new office in Campbelltown, and I'll now be working down there. This has been a work-in-process for the last 3-4 months: the original opening date was mid November. Then shit happened with contracts. At this point, it looks like Moving Day is 3 February, with the office opening to clients early that next week.

I'm spending the Australia Day Weekend (made into a weekend by the expedient of taking leave for the Friday) down the coast, trying to find some sun to lie in at the beach, with three of my very good friends. Since two of them now live in Canberra, I mostly only get to see them when one of us passes through the other's city, though I'm going to try to make it more often this year.

On Sunday, however, I'll have to book it back to Sydney around lunchtime, because I have registration for cheerleading that evening. And I got my official offer of a spot on a Level 5 squad this year. And Australia only has teams up to Level 5; we're so small it's not worth fielding Level 6. And by small, I mean I can think of... seven Level 5 teams in Australia. Maybe eight, if Sydney Uni do compete at 5 instead of 4 this year. I'm moving up from a Level 3 squad on a different team; passing the audition for Level 5 is pretty exciting.

I'm also currently looking at places to move out. Should be soon - once I find somewhere affordable that isn't a hole in the ground, and is nearish to work, I'll be out of here. :D

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

*is just awesome*

October 8th, 2011 (07:20 pm)
amused
Tags: ,

current mood: amused

Sometimes, I remember I really can cook.

Surprise Mostly Vegetarian French Jewish Houseguest walks in while I'm halfway though making dinner.

Did not even know he was eating with us.

Stuffed capsicums (stuffed with leftover lamb risotto) were not edible, and sausages were declined, but fortunately Mum had just brought home fresh shark from the markets. (We said 'fish' though, even though we tend to call shark shark in this house)

The potatoes, however, which were the only other offered carbohydrate, suddenly had to be changed. Mashed potato doesn't go with fried fish. Half-considered thoughts of potato bake were discarded (Yessss, serving milk, cheese and ham with that fish would work. Not). Potato salad had to go out the window, since we only have whole egg mayonnaise and I was now aiming for Inoffensive As Possible.

I had an almost empty jar of sundried tomatoes in olive oil, though. Sundried tomatoes, capers, chives, spring onions chopped through the potato... and enough of the jar oil over the top to add flavour and make things stick.

It got eaten. *buffs nails*.

Zahri Seb Melitor [userpic]

Declutter!

September 24th, 2011 (08:41 pm)
cheerful
Tags:

current mood: cheerful

I've just spent the last two weeks reading through a 500 page forum thread about decluttering, that's been running for around 3 years.

It's amazing how inspiring such things can be. 20 minutes of watching tv programs about hoarders, or just reading about what other people have done, and I get this twitching need to clean.

I really don't mind, though, as I am in the process of planning to move out some time in the next 6 months. And yes, that sentance is very wishywashy, but let me put it this way: if it were solely up to me, I'd be looking for somewhere to move out to in the next month. Unfortunately, it is NOT just up to me, and financially my mother needs me at home, helping out and paying significant amounts of board at present.

But, because it is on the cards, I've been working through my room, decluttering years worth of stuff that I've accumulated, since when I do move, I want to start over, rather than take my childhood bedroom with me.

Stuff I've gone through:

My bookshelves. I've been as ruthlessly decluttering my bookshelves as I can manage. Of course, that would be 'ruthless' as 'wavered back and forth, then removed a small handful of books I never intend to read again and actively did not like'. Seriously, it was mostly duplicates from $1 book sales that went, plus a couple of books from school that I am amazed survived past the Year 12 declutter (Steinbeck? WTF were you still doing on my bookshelf? Plus my Shakespeares, since if I'm in the mood, GUTENBURG HAS THEM ALL)

My desk drawer. This one is still problematic, but most of the stuff in there I use, and now all my christmas cards are stashed together so I can use as many up this year as possible.

My wardrobe. This one happens annually anyway, since I'm a firm believer in "if you haven't worn it since last review, you don't need it".

My boxes under the roof. All my ancillary storage: pulled out, examined, and downsized from four big boxes and two small ones to one big, one small. I could probably go further, but I don't feel comfortable doing that right now.

My bedside table drawers. These will never be fully done. My top drawer has been my knicknack drawer my entire life. It's significantly whittled down, but still, where else do you keep tiny clutches, head lamps, glow in the dark glow worms from childhood, the current knitting project and snowboard wax? (Just a sampling)

My filing box. Gone through, sorted out, 15 years of bank statements taken to work and shoved in the secure documents bin. This is now under control.

My little storage chest of drawers. Ideally I need to remove this altogether, but it holds things that have no other home. It has 6 drawers. Only 4 are occupied at present. One is my sewing kit drawer, one has all Tigger's dress ups in it, one has my origami paper, and the last I'm currently sorting through. I just found all my 21st cards. I don't think I need them any more, really. It also has an Ikea allen key, two rulers and my fabric scissors. I think I seriously want/need... the fabric scissors. And the allen key. The allen key can go in my tool kit, though.

My bathroom drawer. Satisfyingly done. Though I chucked the container of nail polish remover that had about a ml left in it... and my sister went looking for it the next day. Oh well. She bought her own.

My pin board. I've had a pinboard since primary school. For the last 4-5 years it's held my calendar and a bunch of random printouts. Most of the stuff on it had been there for at least 5 years, if not more (quotes from Terry Pratchett, pretty cards, scraps of fabric). It was huge and it wasn't doing anything. It's now all gone.

The linen closet. Not 'mine' in particular, but as it's right beside my bedroom I pulled everything out, refolded it, sorted it, and put it back in neatly. It looks so gorgeous currently!

I'm starting to hit a wall. I need to go through a few more old boxes of mostly postcards, and I need to read my way through my to-read pile on my bedside table. It's 18 books strong. I have been decreasing it, making myself promise to read two books for every new one I buy, but it still takes some effort, since for some of the books there are reasons why I hadn't got back to the book when distracted by something newer and shinier.

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