nausicaa83: (<person of interest> suicide pact)
This week back in Venice is almost over, and it went faster than usual. I had a lot of appointments, and that really made the time fly. I went to the bank and I had to spend a whole hour there before they finally did what I went there for; then I had the plumber over and guess what, I have to remake the whole methane gas tubes system thingy, because the house was built in the seventies and it's not safe anymore. Bye bye money. The plumbers will have to come back next time I'm here, and check the chimney, and then we can start installing the new tubes.

On sunday my aunt and uncle came here too, so that today they could go to the cemetery in Venice and make arrangements for my mom's tombstone. I did that twice already, for my dad and my sister, and I seriously couldn't go through all that one more time. So they did everything for me, and then I got a lot of hugs when they came back home, and my aunt is going to make me frittelle because she loves to spoil me. I feel very loved! And while looking for a good picture of mom to put on the tombstone my aunt kept finding great pictures of yours truly that I didn't remember at all, so there was a silver lining. ^^

In fandom news I finally sat down and watched the last season of Person of Interest. I didn't watch it when it aired last spring because I was going through chemo, and watching something that I loved so much ending was definitely too much for my mindset back then. Now that I feel a lot better, I decided to give it a go, and yes, it was as beautiful and heartbreaking as I thought. The ending was a tiny bit different from what I thought it was going to be, but I loved it nonetheless. I'm so glad it could have a proper ending, but it was still a very bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to the team.
nausicaa83: (<ghibli> wind rises kiss)
Happy name day to me! I see lots of chocolate in my near future. *_____*

I've been spending the last week helping my cousin re-write all her graduation thesis. It's about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran sect, and the concepts of dualism and predeterminism in Judaism. It's fascinating, and exactly my jam! (For those of you who weren't here 11 years ago, I graduated in Archaeology with a thesis on Roman Topography) I'm learning a lot of stuff, and after the first couple of days where I got huge headaches, my brain is finally back in top shape, and by the end of the week we should already have a draft good enough to be sent to her Professor. I'm equal parts nervous and excited! Plus it makes me feel useful and it gives me a lot of purpose, it's really a great thing to do.

Next week I have a dreadful appointment so some doctors can visit me and decide if I deserve my invalidity pension (in Italy cancer patients have a pension that gets renewed every year after a visit). It's a red tape kind of thing, but we'll have to talk in detail about all my exams, medicines, everything from 2015 up to now. It's going to be brutal. After that we'll have lunch at a japanese place because I'm going to need the pick-me-up.

In fandom news, I watched all Bojack Horseman and holy shit was that a great show. The writing is absolutely stunning. And the acting! It's really incredible. We really do live in a golden age for animation.

What else? I'm reading American Gods in the original English, and loving it. I read it years ago, and I remember only a couple of scenes and maybe a bit of the ending, so in light of the new tv series coming I thought it would be a good idea to re-read the novel. I'm loving it, although I keep getting distracted by fanfics. Too little time, too many fandoms. ^^"

I should go back to Venice next week for a quick visit. It's smack in the middle of the Carnevale, so usually I'd avoid that period, but I have a couple of things to do and most importantly my aunt and uncle will come with! I am so getting my aunt to make me frittelle di Carnevale! *_____*
nausicaa83: (<black mirror> heaven)
I can't believe it's been two weeks already since my last entry! The big news is, I had my quarterly visit with my oncologist, and it went splendidly! She says everything's going great, and that I'm to keep taking the same meds and we'll see each other again in April. That means that this is officially the longest I've been doing the same medicine ever since I started doing chemo. \o/ We also talked about the Concert (it's a concert in London I bought tickets for last May, as soon as I finished the first round of chemo - it's Yoko Shimomura, whose music I adore, but it's also a promise I made to myself to keep feeling better and better so that a year later I could take a plane and visit another country, a promise it turns out I kept!), and she was very enthusiastic about it and rescheduled my March appointment so that I could go! And she asked me to make her a cd of Shimomura-san's music too! How cool is that?

Next monday I'm going back to Venice for a week, as I have to meet with my lawyer and go to the bank. And also tell everyone I know how brilliantly the visit went. :D On wednesday I already have an appointment with my therapist, who I couldn't see last time because of the awful combination of cold weather and delicate lungs. This time the weather should be nice, plus my therapist has started doing pet therapy too, and I'm hoping I'll get to see one of the dogs. She sent me some pictures, they look so cute and huggable!

In fandom news, I watched Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on Netflix, and I absolutely adored it. It's a fantastic adaptation of a series of novels by Douglas Adams, and it's as weird and funny as you would expect it to be, while having fantastic plot and character development, a diverse cast, great female characters with their own storylines and agendas who are never sexualized, and really great acting. It's eight episodes, around six hours long, and it's *Arthur Shappey's voice* brilliant. *____*

Now I have to run, my uncle went out to buy pizzas, and at 9 pm we're going to the cinema to watch Rogue One (third time for me!) ♥
nausicaa83: (<tangled> lanterns)
Hope you're all having a great time with your family and loved ones! Happy Holidays, of whatever kind you celebrate!

Quick update, I caught some stupid virus from my aunt, and spent the last three days with a fever and a horrible cough. Nothing serious, only really annoying. I drank a lot of fluids, took my meds, spent the days in bed with my laptop. Boring but effective, because today I feel a lot better.

Just before the fever hit I managed to do the usual exam for my heart (the meds I take can affect the heart, so I have to keep an eye on it), and everything looks great as always. So yay! I'm so happy I had the exam when I did, because six hours later I wouldn't have been able to leave the house, so double yay for my body's timing. Now I'm free until the 29th, when it's time for the usual immunotherapy.

In other news I'm still marathoning Prison Break, and it really helped passing the time when sick. I'm almost halfway through season 4, and really, really loving it. Great acting, great dialogues, but most of all a great story that keeps raising the stakes with every new season. *____*

So that's it for me. Happy Holidays everyone!
nausicaa83: (<just dance> cercavo amore)
Great news everybody! Yesterday I had the big exams I have every three months, and lo and behold one of them shows my cancer is in remission! Some parts have disappeared, the rest has strongly diminished. I've gone through all stages of joy and relief, which included vibrating at such a high frequency the doctors told me I had to relax or they couldn't do the other exam. Then I came home and crashed. Goodbye adrenaline, my old friend.

Other highlights of the past few days include one of the doctors, the one who operated on me a few months back, telling me he could never forget me because I'm such a great person he looks up to me and my strength. Which left me blabbering and blushing for half an hour at least. That was so unexpected and so nice!

Then, on the evening before the exams I saved my family's life! We were all sitting in the kitchen, watching tv, and I started feeling weird and it hurt between my eyes. I ran to check the hob and there was gas leaking out. We opened all windows, and sat in the cold night air breathing it in for a while. My aunt got really scared, and now she insists on buying one of those thingies that can tell when there's a gas leak. I'll see if I can get one on amazon. She also called me her guardian angel, and I haven't stopped smiling since. ^^

In fandom news, I binge-watched all of Legends of Tomorrow, and it was surprisingly much better than the reviews I had read said! The first season suffers from a very boring villain, and that Kendra and Carter storyline, but other than that I thought it was intriguing and funny, and there were a couple of plot twists there that had me shouting at the screen. With the second season we got much better villains (one of my favourite villains ever, let's face it) and Sara got an even larger role, so I'm as happy as I can be with the direction the show has taken. Plus I really love Amaya, and I hope that cameo in episode 9 means a certain someone is coming back to the show for good.

I've also started watching Prison Break, super late, I know, and so far I'm really intrigued. I started watching it because of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, but I'm really enjoying everything about it. I have to say I'm a bit puzzled they did four seasons of it, considering the premise should cover one season at best, but hey, I'm only at episode four, so what do I know? *shrugs*

So yep, it's been a pretty eventful week for me. My cousin comes back from Ireland tomorrow, and on sunday we're going to see Rogue One together, and then have sushi. We did the same thing last year, almost to the day. I had just started chemo, I was still hurting everywhere and I'd just lost my hair. A couple of days later I got surgery for the cvc. It was as tiring as climbing a mountain, but I was so ecstatic to be out of the house for something other than being in the hospital. So now it's our December tradition to celebrate how far I've come: watch a Star Wars movie, have sushi, and this time nothing is going to hurt! \o/
nausicaa83: (<flash> superfriends)
So here's the update about how I've been doing! I still need to learn that my body is a lot weaker than I'm used to, and everytime I'm caught in a cold draft I end up with a stiff neck for a week, coughing and the like. So there's that. But at least I don't panic anymore, and that counts as a win. I've been to therapy twice, tried to arrange for the plumber to come over, I finally got the receipt for my taxes back from the accountant, and arranged a meeting with my lawyer.

Other than that boring - but awesome because it makes me feel like a normal competent adult again - stuff, I've been doing lots of wonderful things that make me feel like a normal adult with hobbies. In no particular order, I've been taking lots of cute pictures of my cat:


Baking cookies for the first time in almost two years:


And they came out delicious, if I do say so myself. I've been playing World of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy XV and enjoying them both a lot, even though I'll have to wait to continue playing FFXV until January because I don't have a PS4 back in Piedmont. The new Rivers of London book finally came out, and it was brilliant. They finally went back to London and the main plot was back again, although I wish they'd spent more time in the Folly. It felt like we were barely there. It was still great to see Nightingale again, though.

I've been binge-watching Supergirl, and it's adorable although the plot is kinda weak, especially considering how it's the strongest aspect of The Flash. I love how the cast is mostly female, and how they are not even in the vicinity of fucking around when talking about sexism. Plus the way the coming out story was handled was perfect and had me in tears at how great it was, and if only they eased up on the love triangles for Kara and gave us a stronger main plot it would be absolutely perfect. I feel a bit envious of today's little girls who have shows like this one, to be honest.

I'm also re-watching season 2 of The Flash because I love it, and I get to watch the blurays on my awesome tv instead of mkv files on my laptop. HD quality, oh yeah. *_____* Today the super crossover finally started (I don't think the Supergirl episode really counts), and it was everything I wanted and more. I watched it twice in a row squealing and cheering. It feels so good to be so invested in a tv show again! \o/
nausicaa83: (<flash> selfie)
To those who celebrate it, I hope you had a great Halloween! I spent my evening re-watching Over The Garden Wall, even if I almost fell asleep more than once because I'm still feeling cranky from daylight savings time ending last sunday. It's only one hour, but it messes up my body's circadian rhythm like there's no tomorrow. It usually takes me one week to go back to normal.

During the weekend I watched Black Mirror on Netflix, because everyone on twitter was talking about it. Netflix messed up the order of the episodes, and I only noticed at the end, so I watched the third season first, then the christmas special, second season, and the first one at the end. It's an anthology, so it didn't affect anything, but I was wondering why the budget seemed to decrease in time. :D Anyway, I thought it was brilliant! It reminds me a lot of Philip K Dick, so if that's your kind of sci-fi, you'll love it. The acting is always great, and I loved how they didn't demonize modern technology: each episode is a study on humanity, and the technological aspect serves only to enable certain human behaviours. Fascinating. My favourite episode is San Junipero, because I'm predictable like that. ;)

I've also started watching Yuri on Ice, this new adorable anime about figure skating. The characters are lovely, the animation is great, and the figure skating part is done by people who know what they're talking about. It's awesome!

About real life, nothing much is happening: my aunt is spending the week in Sicily with her mom, so I miss her a lot. This evening my uncle is taking us to the cinema to watch Jason Bourne - I wouldn't normally watch it, as I find the Bourne movies super boring, but I love the idea of going to the cinema with my family, so I don't even care about the movie. It's also the week with no immunotherapy, so yay for no trips to the hospital or needles in my arms! \o/
nausicaa83: (<disney> menestrello)
Real life news first, tomorrow I got my monthly shot (still immunotherapy, but this one is a shot not a drip), then on wednesday I'll go back home to Venice for a couple of weeks. I need to call the plumber to do a minor fix on the boiler, and since the weather has already turned to the cold and damp, the sooner the better. I also have to check with the bank and the lawyer, and I have a therapy session already planned for the 18th. I have appointments, and they're not hospital-related. You have no idea how new it is, and how happy it makes me. Especially since this is one year to the week since I was first admitted to the hospital, spent a month there, and got my diagnosis. I'm already organizing a little get together with two wonderful women I shared a room with back then, to celebrate how one year later we're all healthy and free of pain. ^^

My oldest cousin has moved back with us, as she's finished with her exams and needs only to work on her graduation dissertation. We go along splendidly, and since everyone else in the family has a job, that means I do not have to spend most of the day here alone anymore. That's probably why I'm always so cheerful lately!

In fandom news, the new Rick Riordan book, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, finally arrived, along with The Answer by Rebecca Sugar. The latter I've already read, and it's even more adorable than I thought possible. I can't wait to read the former, but I'll save it for the train ride back home. Today I also bought the new Green Day album on iTunes, Revolution Radio: you know we fucked up when Green Day have to release a new political album. It's awesome, and I loved it way more than the previous triplets (Uno, Dos and Tres). I hope they'll release a couple of singles on Rock Band soon, I would love to play them!

To be fair most of my free time this past week has been spent marathoning The Flash. A little backstory here: I'm more of a Marvel girl, I watched the first season of Arrow and didn't like it, and I had watched the first couple of episodes of The Flash months ago and then forgot about it. But then last tuesday they did an Honest Trailer about this show, and they were so enthusiastic about it I got curious and started watching it again.

And holy shit, it's SO GOOD. It has an amazing plot, full of plot twists but always consistent, great character development, a very diverse cast, a lot of positive representation for adoptive families, and a main character who's good and kind, who always sees the best in people. Plus, time travel and alternate steampunk dimensions. It's like they made a list of all the things I like, and just mashed them together in one clever, funny, heart-warming show. What the hell, CW, I thought I had you figured out. I was so wrong.

So if you haven't, watch it, you'll love it. If you have, I need to talk about it with someone! Although it'll probably be mostly flailing my arms like a muppet and squealing, so you've been warned. ;)
nausicaa83: (<hot fuzz> true love)
Just like I hoped, my birthday has been a turning point for me. I tend to fixate on dates and anniversaries, even too much, but sometimes that obsession does help. I feel like my birthday ended the awful year of illness and pain, and now I've started a new year of healing. I know it sounds a bit weird and new-ageish, but you know what I mean. I've spent a great week at home, I've made some wonderful new friends (thanks to [ profile] capracotta, who is amazing), I've been to the bank and the restaurant and I've done laundry and everything feels normal and new at the same time. I feel like I'm taking control of my life once again, a life that includes monthly trips to the hospital, but also hanging out with my friends, going to the cinema, making marmalade with my aunt. I can do it. ^^

And in this spirit, here's an old meme because I need to start posting regularly here again, instead of only when I got news about chemo. New leaf.

day one • a song
day two • a picture
day three • a book/ebook/fanfic
day four • a website
day five • a youtube clip

And now, some fandom news! I finally watched that new Shane Black movie, The Nice Guys, and I loved it. It was funny as hell, the mystery was intriguing and had me on the edge of my seat trying to figure it out first, and Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe have excellent chemistry. Plus the little girl was amazing, I can't wait to see more of her. I wish Shane Black did more movies, and that they did better at the box office. I think I liked this one even more than Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and that's one of my favourites. Highly recommended.

Brooklyn Nine Nine and Star Vs The Forces Of Evil are back, and they're both still amazing. I know I'm overdoing it with that adjective, but it's true, they're both objectively amazing shows. I still have to watch that new Once Upon A Time episode, mostly because I got derailed by Final Fantasy Type 0: I played it for a month more than a year ago, then stopped just before leaving for the final dungeon. I can't remember why. Then last weekend I finally finished it, witnessed the incredibly depressing ending (even sadder than Crisis Core's, come on!), and now I'm replaying it from start because I'm not ready to let go of these characters. And I love the gameplay. ^^ Also I hurt my shoulder playing drums. Probably the most metal thing I did all year.

So that's it for me today, but I promise to be back tomorrow.
nausicaa83: (<kingdom hearts> power of the keyblade)
First of all, a big hug to all of you always leaving me wonderful messages! You make me feel all warm and fuzzy and loved, you're the best!

Health update, the side effects are basically over, although I still get tired easily, as the meds will still be in my system for another week. Yesterday, for the first time since this all started, I went shopping on my own. First I went to the hospital to change the bandages on the cvc, then I went to the pharmacy, then to the farmers' market. It was a lovely sunny day, the air was crisp and cold, and I did it all by myself. It felt amazing! I'm slowly winning my old life back, one step at a time. \o/

I also bought a train ticket for the 12th, when I'm going back home for a week. I'm so excited! This time there won't be no side effects slowing me down, I'll even be able to go downtown to the Lush store, and the Disney store, I can't wait!

And now, as promised, fandom news! A couple of weeks ago they released Kingdom Hearts Unchained Chi in North America. I downloaded the apk, and I've been happily playing it ever since. I set up a party, and having so much fun! The only downside is, it consumes battery life like there's no tomorrow, so I always try to play connected to a power outlet.

Last November I started watching Rick and Morty. I stopped after three episodes, not really feeling it. Then recently I read both the creators of Steven Universe and Gravity Falls praising it on twitter, so I decided to give it another go. And I loved it. As it turns out, I just had to wait until the Meeseeks and Destroy episode. I loved how they explore sci-fi concepts, like multiple universes and hive minds, in a new and unique way. And I love, LOVE the fact that it's set in a universe with no god. As an atheist, I really wish there were more shows exploring the universe as ruled by chaos, instead of always having some fate/religion/destiny plot. It's refreshing.

I also watched all the Erased anime. It's one of the best series I've ever seen. And so devastating. I cried once an episode, no kidding. And I loved it to pieces.

I promise I'll try writing more frequently now that I'm feeling better. ♥
nausicaa83: (<cowboy bebop> lazy)
Managed another update before the next chemo, go me! I'm so lazy when it comes to updating, I know.

First things first, last sunday I managed to take a shower all by myself! My aunt left for the week to take care of her parents (who are over 90, have dementia, and live a thousand kms from here). She was so worried, but I felt like I could do it. I also asked my uncle to sit outside the bathroom in case I tripped and fell, because I'm not dumb. Luckly it all went fine, and I was so proud of myself.

On sunday we had the first snow day of the whole winter! Which is weird considering we live on the mountains. I was so excited I sat for hours at the window taking pictures while everyone else made fun of me. I was born and raised by the sea, snow always fascinates me, I can't help it! Today it's already melting, which is a good thing because on friday I have to be at the hospital by 8 am, and it's already a one-hour-long trip without the snow. I'd rather not show up looking like a zombie because I had to get up at 4 am.

What else? I watched all of Mr Robot in two days. I liked it, although not all of it. I still don't understand what the point of Tyrell even is. Like, why is he in the show at all. He doesn't contribute anything to the plot. I don't get it. And I wasn't expecting them to focus so much on Eliot's mental illness by the end of the show, to the point that all the hacking and revolutioning plot was left off screen. Also Angela was way out of character by the end of the show. I really loved the soundtrack, and the acting.

Yesterday I watched Won't Back Down, a 2012 movie about public school with Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Oscar Isaac. I found it hard to follow at times because even after all this time the Americal school system is still hard to understand to me (I just couldn't understand why they couldn't change the school and keep the Union at the same time), but other than that it's a really beautiful movie. Great acting from Ms Davis and Ms Gyllenhaal (like, really stunning), and Oscar Isaac plays an elementary school teacher who plays the ukulele and sings and dances with the kids. He short-circuited my brain everytime he was on screen. I'm trying to focus on the movie, stop being so adorable!

I'm very excited about the Gravity Falls finale next week, I just finished watching the special and I'm trying to prepare myself, but who am I kidding, I'm definitely going to cry like a baby. ^^
nausicaa83: (<hot fuzz> invaders must die)
Second chemio, done! This is how it works: blood test in the morning, then a brief talk with the doctor, then by noon I start with the drips until 5 pm. The doctor told me I'm doing great and I'm healing quite quickly. I was over the moon! I'm also still processing it, to be honest. It's huge. My hair is still attached to my head, but she says it'll fall out on its own terms. I'd rather sooner than later, so I can get it over with. The side effects should start on tuesday, and be over by saturday. Mild flu, nothing much, like last time. Then on the 23rd they'll give me a CVC, a central venous line, so no more holes in the arms for me!

In other news, I started watching Jessica Jones, which is exactly how I hoped it would be, dark and gritty, your usual private eye story but with a female main character. Awesome! I'm playing a bit on the ukulele every day, because my fingers are so soft now, it's embarassing. And I played a bit of playstation today, while sitting on the carpet, because my back hurts so little I can even do that now! It's like rediscovering my body piece by piece every new day. I still need assistance from my aunt when taking a shower, but now we have more fun, with more splashing around and laughing.

One step at a time, I'm climbing this mountain.
nausicaa83: (<gravity falls> twins)
First things first, here's the latest health update. Chemio is indeed a magical medicine, like my therapist always says. Five days in, I started having the side effects as they had been described to me by the doctor, and at the same time I started feeling better. The pain is slowly regressing, my back hurts less, I stopped coughing, and I feel stronger every day. The side effects are bland: three to four days of mild flu, basically. I just have to be extra careful not to catch any actual virus, so when I go out I avoid kids like the plague, what with those stupid anti-vaxxers on the loose. My hair hasn't fallen out yet, although I already went and cut it all really short in advance: I look like a marine now! It was a great idea, because I've had time to get used to my face looking like this, I made it a gradual process. I wish it'd just fall already, though.

Fandom update: I have lots of free time now that I'm back home with my family, but mostly I re-watch series I already know and love. It's comforting. The only new thing I tried, I started watching Firefly on Netflix, but I found it disappointing. I know, I know. It's just, the space western thing has been done a lot better by Cowboy Bebop, while I find it quite clumsy here, and it's obvious it was meant to be a much longer series, what with all those filler storylines. Basically, I can't help but compare the Serenity to the Bebop, even if I try not to, and find the former lacking. I still have one episode left and the movie, but I've lost interest. Sorry, fans! I tried, I swear!

Gravity Falls is ending, and we're getting some fantastic final episodes. I keep re-watching them (and old favourites, like Dungeons, Dungeons and more Dungeons) and finding something new to love everytime. This show is perfect. *___*

Adventure Time had that beautiful miniseries about Marceline, and made Bubbline basically canon. Bless them, and bless Rebecca Sugar for that beautiful new song. I bought a new ukulele off Amazon because my beautiful ukulele is back home, and I spent an hour yesterday playing Everything Stays. After all those weeks sick and in the hospital my hands are soft and clumsy, and I've forgotten a lot of chords. Now that I'm feeling better it's time to work on that.

I promise more frequent updates from now on: first because you're all wonderful, and I read every message you left me and cherish them so much. And second because I have lots of free time now and I have no excuses to ignore my blog!

Love you all! ♥
nausicaa83: (<elementary> moriarty)
Health update first, the tracheitis is slowly going away. I still have the stupid cough, but I changed medicine and went for a more aggressive cough syrup, and I'm finally getting some results. At least now the coughing fits last only a few seconds, and I don't sound like a chain smoker anymore. Hurrah!

And I have a new Reading Bingo entry! It's the fifth book in the Rivers of London series, for the "A Book With Magic" square here's Foxglove Summer.

I obviously read all five books, but only put the first and fifth one on the Bingo because I didn't want it to end just yet. Besides, it would have been a boring way to end it, with five identical iterations of "these books are amazing, hurrah for London urban fantasy, so much diversity, I think I died and went to YA heaven". :D

And since I don't want to spoil anyone, this review is going to be quite short. Foxglove Summer is quite different from the other books in the series, as we move to the country, when Peter is called to investigate on the disappearance of two young girls, all while recovering from the shocking events of Broken Homes. All the other main characters are relegated to phone calls and texts, and we feel Peter's loneliness, as he also has to suffer through various degrees of racism. While life as a POC in London isn't all that easy, it certainly gets way worse when leaving for the country, and the author never lets us forget it. I really appreciated this degree of realism. Plus the case itself is very intriguing, and the final chapter is one of the best in the series.

My only complaint is I think the ending was too rushed and it could have used another chapter, but other than that, it's a fantastic read, and I can't wait for November when the next book will be out. \o/

In other news this weekend I finally finished the first season of Outlander, and holy shit it was nothing like what I imagined it would be. This series should have a trigger warning on top of its trigger warnings. Seriously, it was worse than Game of Thrones in that regard. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful series: the actors are great, the historical setting is incredibly accurate, the music and Scotland landscape are breathtaking, but to everyone who's thinking of watching it, remember there's a two-hour-long rape scene at the end, and I'm not exaggerating. There's a lot of rape attempts littered throughout all the series, but they all pale in comparison with that ending. Be safe, my friends. If you need more details before watching it, just drop me a line and I'll answer all your questions in the less spoilery manner I can find, but yes, that right there is the biggest problem with it.

To recover from that ending, I've started watching the Shaun the Sheep series, and it's adorable. And also really, really funny. I just started on the second season, and I'm not really liking how they changed the character design for some of the characters, nor the fact Shaun is a lot meaner than before. But from what I gathered they're going to retcon it all with the next season, so there's that. ^^
nausicaa83: (<cowboy bebop> lazy)
It's been raining for 24 hours, and it looks like November outside. Me, I'm on the first day of my period and woke up with a serious cold, so I had to cancel my plans, as I'm not allowed to go to mom's hospital when I'm sick. Very delicate patients, outside infection, not a happy combination. So I made my calls, made myself some chamomile tea, and rummaged in my hard-disk for something to watch. The lucky winner was Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, an HBO documentary that had been sitting there for a few months. First of all, it's a fantastic documentary: the writing is great, the pacing is perfect, everything about it gets top marks. But it is quite the punch in the guts. I knew it was going to be bad, as it is after all about a cult, but I had no idea they were torturing people. Stupid naiveté on my part, I know.

My first contact with Scientology came in 2002, on my first year of University. I was walking down the street with a friend, in Padova, and this guy stopped us and asked us if we could fill a questionnaire for him. We thought he was a fellow student who was doing that for an exam or something, so we stopped. He gave us a list of questions "what's the meaning of life, what happens after death, why do illnesses exist" and asked us to rank them in order of importance. We did, and then he told us, all smiling, that right around the corner there was a place where we could get the answers to all those questions. I still remember the face of my friend, completely stunned. I recovered a lot quicker, and told him "you're telling me you've got answers to questions humanity have been asking themselves for thousands of years without ever finding a true answer?". He got even happier and said "yes". At that point I laughed in his face, called him a fraud and insane, grabbed my friend by the arm and rushed her away. And then we told all our colleagues what had happened. It sort of became this in-joke, "remember the crazy cult people near the stations? they're still there" or "they stopped me again this morning, you wouldn't believe the shit they're saying" and everyone got a huge laugh out of it.

It wasn't until years later I even found out Scientology was a thing. Like, a huge thing. It was right around the time South Park did that episode, so my reaction was still amusement. I never actually took them seriously. Now, I've been an atheist most of my life, so my brain just doesn't get how faith works. It just doesn't compute. But it's one of those things I respect in others, maybe have a private laugh about it, and then carry on and not think about it at all. And then this documentary comes, and it really opened my eyes, because I had no idea it's been going for so long, and it has so many members, and there's psychological torture, and actual fucking beatings, this is a whole new level. I'm glad this documentary exists and that I got to see it, because I had no idea it was so bad. I wanted to hug all the interviewees, those who had gone out, and I wanted to tell them it was alright and that they were so brave. There were a couple of times I couldn't help but crying. At first I felt like wanting to go back in time and punch that guy in Padova on the nose, but by the end of the documentary I was actively worried: what's happened to him? Is he alright? Did he manage to get out? God, I hope so. So yeah, it's one of those things that really need to be seen by a lot of people, because otherwise they'll just be allowed to keep doing all the abuse they're doing, and none will be the wiser.
nausicaa83: (<gravity falls> what)
First, obligatory rant about the heat. It sucks, it's going to last until friday, it's unbearable, I found myself hyperventilating five minutes after leaving the house and had to forcefully slow my breathing. Stupid humidity. Stupid global warming.

Now that that's out of the way, here's a new Reading Bingo entry!

For the "A Book That Is More Than 50 Years Old" I read S.E. Hinton's classic The Outsiders.

To be fair, the more than 50 years old thing isn't actually correct. This book was published in 1967, but written and set in 1965. So it would be exactly 50 years old to the day. But it was the only square that sorta fit, and I really wanted to include it in the bingo. ^^

The author was only 17 when she wrote this groundbreaking novel about teenage gangs in her hometown of Tulsa. The story covers two weeks in the life of a young Greaser, and it's a very beautifully written message against violence, of overcoming differences and hate towards a future of empathy and compassion for all young people. I read it all in one sitting, it's really gripping, and while it can be truly depressing at times it's ultimately full of hope. It's easy to see why it's a classic.

It was also one of those cases when I truly felt the cultural differences coming from living in a different continent. The slang is dated, obviously, but it constantly brought to my mind images of Jets and Sharks. Apparently "greaser" is a real word and it's not a nice thing to be. It was a very instructive book for me, because it turns out everything I know about this time period and subculture comes from musicals. My bad.

Yesterday I also watched that new Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?. I highly recommend it to any fan of Nina Simone, but beware because it can make you feel like being punched in the stomach at times. The director chose to focus on only certain key moments of Ms Simone's life, and there's no narrator, which I appreciated. The story moves from interview to interview, to friends and family, and there's some pretty terrible things being revealed. Not an easy viewing, I have to say.

In other news, during the weekend I've started doing some minor physical exercise again. Just the fact that I could finally do it, as my back has stopped hurting only fairly recently, left me ecstatic. It'll take me some time to get back in shape, but I'm feeling very optimistic!
nausicaa83: (<gravity falls> mystery twins)
What a day, what a lovely day (shiny and chrome)! Two new episodes I'd been waiting for for months were waiting for me when I woke up! That, and I found a lot less ants than I feared: there's been the usual infestation, as they do every summer without fail. This time though I've been battling it with poison spray and vacuum cleaner for three days and they still haven't left the house! The neighbour was completely useless, even if he has the infestation as well, so I've been fighting on my own. Maybe, just maybe, I've finally won. We'll see tomorrow, though. There's also been a lot of printing papers and documents and calls from the hospital and usual depressing guardian stuff. I've been doing it for years, doesn't make it any easier.

But at least on the fandom side I got both Gravity Falls and Steven Universe to cheer me up! A Tale Of Two Stans was so good by the end I was almost hyperventilating. Theories confirmed, theories squashed, so much new information, it'll take me a lot of viewings to digest it all. What a fantastic episode! Cry For Help featured a new character that had been spoiled for me all weekend, because people on tumblr are incapable of using tags, and they enjoy leaks for some reason. I shall never understand the fascination with learning spoilers beforehand, instead of waiting for when the episode airs in all its high quality glory and context. Bah. I've been unfollowing people left and right, so at least now my dashboard looks a lot cleaner. Anyway, Alexia Khadime was wonderful (and I do hope they'll have her sing in a future episode, she's a wonderful Elphaba, it would be such a missed opportunity for her not to!), but the episode was a lot more depressing than I expected. These kids' shows don't mess around. O_O

Yesterday I also watched the X-Men Days Of Future Past Rogue Cut: it's a new version of the movie, with 20 minutes of added scenes and, as the title subtly implies, the return of Rogue. I adore this movie, but I thought this new cut was completely useless: all the added dialogues were redundant, and it made sense to leave them on the cutting room floor. The Rogue's scenes had no point, as she actually doesn't do or say anything, and she's basically a prop. The added scene at the house, with Raven and Hank, was a mess: cringe-worthy and embarassing all around. The only thing I took from this movie is a sense of gratitude that they cut all this stuff out in the original version, which made for a much more coherent plot with great pacing.

There's a new heatwave here, but thankfully it's not as vicious as the last one. Sakura is suffering the heat a lot, though: she sleeps on the marble floor, all spread out like a dog would, and even longer than usual. Poor baby!
nausicaa83: (<steven universe> family)
The heatwave is coming, and I'm ready. It isn't here yet, we're having sunny days but with a lovely wind, but I've already bought juice, lots of fruit, mint syrup, I cleaned up the air conditioner filters, I'm basically ready for the summer apocalypse. My aunt is coming on thursday, and she already told me what to make her for dinner when she gets here, and it's all vegetables and cold meat. I'm ready! *grabs a wooden spoon and stares dramatically into the sunset while waves crash all around her*

In fandom news, the final episode of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell aired the other day, and it was bloody amazing. I loved it so much I had to do a happy dance around the sitting room when it was over. Literally. The blu ray should arrive by tomorrow, I can't wait to watch it all over again! I wonder if there'll be extra content. *____*

On the same day they also aired the second episode of this new season of True Detective, but I haven't watched it yet. You probably remember how much I loved the first season last year, and while I was worried Cary Fukunaga wasn't coming back for this one, I was still really excited. And then, the first episode aired, and I hated it. At first I just found it boring and confusing, but the more I thought about it during the week, the more I realized how much I disliked it. So I've decided to just wait until this season is over, ask my friends if it gets better, or if the ending makes it all worth it, and then decide whether to marathon it all, or just drop it. We'll always have the bayou anyway.

Oh, and just a little heads-up: there's a 1080 copy of Mad Max Fury Road floating around online. If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out on a fantastic movie, believe me!

And now off to lunch with the new episode of Vicious!
nausicaa83: (<strange & norrell> practical magic)
On Monday I had a most wonderful evening: a dear friend invited me to a night at the Opera! At the La Fenice theater, the Opera Theater here in Venice, where I hadn't been in years. The philharmonic orchestra there played pieces by Béla Bartók, Johann Strauss and Leoš Janáček (here's the poster), and it was absolutely magical. The Strauss one was especially loved, and after that the soloist came back on stage and played a wonderful improv with four other musicians, who answered his variations in kind. It was so unexpected and lovely, and funny. Everyone loved it, although we were all really surprised, it was quite unexpected. :D

Here's a picture I took before I had to turn the phone off, the musicians hadn't come out yet. We counted 75 of them, a full orchestra, something very rare indeed! They even had one of them playing the tubular bells! I knew of them, but I had never heard them, and they sound exactly like church bells, to the point that more than once I thought the sound was coming from outside. :D

When we came out it was 10 pm, and we had a lovely walk through the quiet, dark streets: no tourists at that hour, it was almost like it used to be when I was a kid, clean and peaceful. It was the city like it should be, but sadly isn't any more.

Sort of on topic, because Venice plays a huge part in this as well, to those of you who haven't watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell yet, you should really, really do it. I can't recommend it enough. At first simply because it was one of my favourite novels, but after a couple of episodes it became clear this show is a beautiful masterpiece in its own right. Everything about it is perfectly crafted, the world feels alive, the magic real, and the acting is superb. Do yourself a favour and check it out, and be ready because it'll blow your mind. *_____*
nausicaa83: (<cowboy bebop> flying machines)
Today we are going to talk of something special, my very first, and favourite anime of all time: Cowboy Bebop. That's because today the blu ray boxset arrived, and it's fantastic, and I've waited for it ever since they invented the blu ray. But first, a little history!

Back in December 2001, a few months after my sister left us, I had to undergo my first, and very painful surgery. For three months my movements had to be almost completely limited, and I was stuck at home, in pain, and bored out of my mind. My mom kept me company every minute she could, but being a very Catholic woman, every day at 6 pm she would leave the house for Mass, and I would be stuck on the couch watching the tv and waiting for her. So, one day around 6 pm I'm stuck on the couch channel surfing, and I end up on this japanese cartoon, where these two characters are in an elevator talking to each other, and one of them is describing a dream he had with Charlie Parker in it. My parents were huge jazz fans, so my mind went "is he talking about Charlie 'Bird' Parker? I must see this!", and twenty minutes later, I was hooked. It turns out it was the third episode of the show, and they were actually reruns, one episode a day every day. Two days later they aired Ballad of Fallen Angels, and it completely blew my mind. After that, everyday I'd watch the new episode, and then enthusiastically narrate it to my mom. I'd gone from grumpy and in pain to singularly and cheerfully obsessed with this wonderful story. We watched the final episode together, because even God had to wait for that. :D And then I found out about geocities websites, anime music videos, fandom, all because of that show.

So that's what it means to me. Now, what it's all about! Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 anime from Sunrise, set in 2071, following the adventures of a bounty hunter crew and their spaceship, the Bebop. It homages many different cinema genres, from western to pulp fiction, from horror to science fiction. The music, composed by Yoko Kanno, deserves its own essay: Kanno formed a blues and jazz band, the Seatbelts, to perform the magnificent soundtrack, which covers almost every genre, reinventing and recreating them. The music is a vital part of the series, basically a main character in itself. Here's the opening:

And here's a bonus picture with the first edition dvds. Look at my pretties:

It's a masterpiece, and one of the most influential works of art that have ever crossed my path. I'm not kidding when I say I would be a very different person today if I hadn't watched it that fateful February. ^^

So now I know how I'm going to spend my evenings for the next couple of weeks! \o/

May 2017

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