tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Whoa, two pieces of fan art in one month? This is unprecedented! It's all thanks to that Tumblr palette challenge making the rounds.

I've mentioned before I'm really bad at visualizing characters from non-visual media. It's only through drawing fan art I actually sit down and have a good think about how I'd like the characters to look. That said, I've adored Good Omens for nigh on a decade now and I have never ever tried drawing fan art of it before, go figure.

Apocalypse boyfriends )

I thought working from a pre-chosen colour palette would make the drawing process easier, because I'm really bad at colours. But then turns out, I'm still really bad at colours and with a limited palette I suddenly have to think about readability and contrast and ugh. So it's not a very creative composition but I genuinely had a lot of fun making it.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
I was researching how to get hold of more of the Fantômas books when I came across an odd little tidbit of pop culture: A monotonous yet creepy song from 1933 called 'La Complainte de Fantômas', or The Ballad of Fantômas. It's even available on Spotify.

Had it been five or six verses long it'd be a fairly listenable song, but no, it has TWENTY-SIX verses each cryptically referring plot points from the forty-something novels, with little coherency between them. I guess that's why they chose to call it a ballad.

I particularly like how the first verse goes (translated):
Listen up - hey quiet down -
To this sad and mournful list
Of crimes too dreadful to name
Of tortures and violence
Unpunished each time, alas
By the criminal Fantômas
And then the remaining twenty-five verses are detailed descriptions of all the grisly things Fantômas does, like making gloves out of cadaver hands to disguise his finger prints (they're pretty morbid books in that early 1900s pulp fiction kind of way). Too dreadful to name, indeed.

But hey, at least my favourite character Inspector Juve and his loyal journalist companion Fandor get a few shoutouts. Though not mentioning all the crossdressing is a clear shortcoming of the song.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Just as sure as summer will follow spring, I'm pretty sure I will always return to Sherlock Holmes stories. Even if I forget how much I love them years at a time. Usually my infatuation with specific fiction abates after a while, either because I've run out of material or because I've gluttoned myself and had too much at one time -- but Holmes? That's an inexhaustible love of mine, even though I sometimes plain forget just how happy those stories make me.

A few months ago I was in a thrift shop where I spotted a particularly hideous Norwegian edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -- the exact edition I first picked up at the library when I was ten, and which introduced me to the Canon! (It doesn't have a print year listed, oddly enough, but I'm guessing eighties/early nineties from the cover design). So I bought it out of sentiment and put it on my shelf and forgot about it.

And then I was out walking today because I wanted to give Welcome to Night Vale a listen (mostly to fill the temporary Zombies, Run!-shaped hole in my life, my knee is still a wreck), but the file was corrupted and I had to find something else to listen to. I always have one of the BBC Holmes audios stashed away somewhere on my phone, so I thought "Ah, for old time's sake" (the episode happened to Scandal in Bohemia, the first story I ever read). I spent the rest of the walk grinning from ear to ear.

Not just because BBC radio Holmes is by far the best Holmes adaption I've ever come across (I have nothing new to say about Merrison's Holmes, other than that he's wonderful in the role and has the most infectious laugh), but because, goshdarnit, I just love these old stories and characters. Even though I've read them, watched them, and listened to them countless of times, and I always know exactly who did it, and what challenges will be thrown Holmes and Watson's way, I just can't stop loving them.

So now I'm sitting here leafing through that book I bought at the thrift store, feeling like I've slipped on an old comfy sweater. I think this Christmas I'll bring back my tradition of reading that great pastiche story where Holmes is hired to stalk Santa Clause.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
I used to do these book-tallying post regularly years ago. I must admit with shame I don't read as much as I used to, but I'm trying to get back into old habits so here's one of those book lists as usual. Now with added comics!

Libris )

A lot less ambitious than these lists used to be, but eh. Books are good.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Yes here I am again. There've been some troubles with unstable internet access, but things are getting better all the time, and I'm switching companies tomorrow.

So what do you do in the evenings without internet when there's nothing but boring Olympic Games on the telly?

Games. You do games. Gaming.

Personally, I just finished Dragon Age II!


Also I played and completed L.A. Noire!


Right now I've gone on to the first Mass Effect game. I'm really intrigued by the "your choices carry weight in the sequels too" thing (which was very neatly done in Dragon Age 2), but eh, I really don't like those kind of dour grey sci-fi settings. I'm nine hours in and so far I just feel like I've done nothing but gotten lost in a lot of grey corridors, and done a lot of cover-based shooting at Geths.

Sometimes when I'm not gaming I'm reading. Right now it's The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht, and a massive one that I bought for my bachelor research but never read, about the plight of the common woman throughout Norwegian history.

Oh, and I'm still reading Justice League comics. Still early nineties issues, oh dear.


Oh wow, it's been so long since I wrote a long, random post just because I'm bored. And I'm not used to sitting on this hard sofa like this, ow ow ow.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
I wanted to try out Paint Tool Sai, but for lack of a motive I thought "Hey, I've been having a lot of crazy dreams lately, let's pick one and illustrate it".

Okay as for the dream, I blame two things:

- Me buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming Lupin movie TV special (December 2nd baby! Though of course I have to wait until some friendly fansubber has taken pity on us foreign fans).

- A LOT of late-night reading of Mists of Avalon, which is obviously stuffing my subconscious with various Celtic imagery.

AND THE RESULT IIIIIS )

I'm definitely sold on using Sai though. You draw a line, and then you can do so much fun with it! It's been ages since I dared to draw anything directly on the computer, but Sai makes it fun! Okay so there are things I've yet to figure out (hooo boy did I wind up with a lot of levels at the end), but as an art software it's pretty damn neat!

Surprise!

Nov. 2nd, 2011 10:30 pm
tilly_stratford: (Kaizer: Humping Terje)
I'm spending a week in Eastern Norway!

I came here for my sister Tiny's birthday last Saturday - it was very tricky keeping it a secret from her, as she's probably the one person who knows me best and thus the one person who's most able to tell whether I'm lying, but I made some vague comments about mailing her a present, I dropped some hints that I had plans for celebrating a Bergen Halloween, and then I got on the train and spent the entire Friday traveling over the mountains.

Then on her birthday my mum said she's hidden a present in my sister's toolshed and there I was. I've neglected to mention to you that Tiny's currently six months pregnant, with her first - I thought it was bad form to startle a pregnant woman too much, so I whined my softest "Hi!" and hugged her. Against all odds she hadn't suspected a thing, it was awesome!

And gosh, her belly has grown since I last saw her! It's so odd to think there's a little girl gestating in there.

But anyway, this is me taking a break from worrying about unemployment and lack of money for a week. I've finally found the peace of mind to just sit down and read some good fiction - I think maybe I'll finally get to finish Mists of Avalon.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
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"In 1815, M. Charles-Francois-Bienvenu Myriel was Bishop of D---- He was an old man of about seventy-five years of age; he had occupied the see of D---- since 1806."
- Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo
Of course, Les Misérables is the title I give when people ask what my favourite book is and I can tell they don't want a long-winded answer. This isn't one of those times, so have some more favourites:
"The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn."
- The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

"This isn't at all what I expected."
- Last Chance to See, by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

"There once lived, in a sequestered part of the county of Devonshire, one Mr Godfrey Nickleby: a worthy gentleman, who, taking it into his head rather late in life that he must get married, and not being young enough or rich enough to aspire to the hand of a lady of fortune, had wedded an old flame out of mere attachment, who in her turn had taken him for the same reason."
- Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens

"Okay; It isn't called E.U., it's not called Russia, and there's no Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."
- The Man Who Loved Yngve, by Tore Renberg (translation mine)

"Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his."
- Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino

"Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians."
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
And finally, one that's definitely cheating - it's not a first line and it's not from a book: It's my favourite final line, and it's from a short story (The Great Automatic Grammatizator by Roald Dahl):
"Give us strenght, oh Lord, to let our children starve."
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
There's that point in the night, you know, when you're suffering from a migraine and you keep telling yourself "Just sleep, sleep is the best remedy for migraines" and then "But I can't sleep, the migraine's keeping me awake". So you try to think of random things to just calm down, but even thinking too hard means pain, so you keep jumping from subject to subject until you find something that you can just quietly mull over without getting too involved.

My subject last night was apparently "I wonder what Inspector Juve is supposed to look like?"

You know, Inspector Juve from the Fantômas books. I haven't thought about those stories for years.

It still strikes me as very untypical of me to enjoy the valiant-officer-of-the-law character more than the flamboyant-and-daring-criminal-mastermind character (Fantômas got a cape and everything, I should be all over that). I think it can partially be explained by how Fantômas is an actual murdering psychopath, but also by how Juve is not only your typical brave and true French police officer, but also a master of disguise himself, equally adept at deception as the villain he's devoted his life to catch (with the added bonus of the Victorian affectations of his time, of course - manly men holding other manly men's hands in affectionate yet totally manly ways and so on).

You know, I just really want to get my hands on more Fantômas books. Ah! The second book in the series is even titled The Exploits of Juve! My heart!

Finally

Aug. 12th, 2011 06:21 pm
tilly_stratford: (Orson has had enough of your bs)
To reiterate: Thomas More had one of the most brilliant minds of his age; I'm a dummkopf.

Like today, when I went to the library to find Utopia (or its full title: A Truly Golden Little Book, No Less Beneficial Than Entertaining, of the Best State of a Republic, and of the New Island Utopia). I sat down in the brand new and gorgeous Lørenskog library, read for several hours - and then when the library was closing and I had just forty pages to go, I realized I'd forgotten my lovely nationally-recognized library card at my mum's.

I haven't finished the book yet, obviously, but wow is that an interesting read. It's a work of literature so oddly modern I keep forgetting just how old it is. I honestly didn't think I could love Thomas More even more, and then he elegantly mentioned what a load of crock superstition and astronomy is. THIS GUY LIVED IN THE MIDDLE AGES, PEOPLE.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Aaand back living at my sister's, squeeing about The Wire (Omar and Brother Mouzone teaming up? AAAAAH ♥) and going for strolls in the searing (for Norway) sun.

Let's take a look at my prophecies from the previous entry then:

- I did not get a sunburn at all, in spite of sitting for hours in the sun in an dinghy, dressed in a tank top. My skin is as porcelain white as ever (my skin has only three states of being: Wintery blueish/translucent, ridiculously pale, and sunburn red), thanks to copious amounts of SPF 30 sunscreen.

- I did catch a fish! My first fish in a decade or so, and my first ever saltwater fish! It was a small haddock, which I lovingly gutted, cooked and served to Linni - who thought it was the scariest thing she'd ever seen. I put some cat food in the plate with it to indicate that it was meant for consumption, but she only gingerly used her paw to pull the bits of cat food away and ate them at a safe distance from the fish. It dawned on me that Linni had never seen fish that didn't come out a tin.

- Still adore Sir Thomas More. So much that I intend the next book I read to be his Utopia (it's going to be weird reading a book written by an actual saint though). I think I'll head into Oslo sometime this week and look for it, I'm fairly certain they ought to have it at one of the bigger book shops.

Generally I'd love to read more actual Medieval literature. Not books about the Middle Ages - I've got four or so shelves of Medieval history full and fit to burst back in Bergen - but from that time. Now that I've finished my degree in Medieval History I can finally sit down and read all the books I've seen referenced or quoted or mentioned in my history books. In these three years of studying, the only actual primary sources I've read are the Royal Frankish Annals, Arthaśāstra, the dirty parts of The Canterbury Tales (don't ask, you'd know if you had friends like mine), and a number of Norse legends, Christian apocrypha and chivalric romance in Norse.

Once I've read Utopia I think it'd be fun to counter it with Machiavelli's The Prince. I remember also wanting to read Rustichello da Pisa's Il Milione (a.k.a. The travels of Marco Polo) - which might be a good break away from the politics. Aw, it's so nice to be free to read whatever I want again!
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
Three years ago at the Academy my friend Signe did a strange thing: She went to the library and got Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and then she gave it to me and said here, I want you to read it. I told her maybe and after a while I returned the book because I wasn't really in the mood for scifi (and not just pew-pew scifi, I'd just reread 1984 and needed something more cheery). I've felt vaguely bad about it since - it's not often people tell me I need to read this or that, and as long as I've known her I've thought Signe has wonderful taste in literature.

So well, with all my idle time these days (the date for my oral exam about my bachelor thesis still hasn't been set) I got it at the library. Anyway tonight I couldn't/can't sleep on account of the pain of tendonitis in my wrist, so I just. read it. and finished it. And I cried more than once over a fictional boy in a space station. Books hardly ever make me cry.

I'm aware there is an entire Ender Saga out there, but I don't feel particularly inclined to read it. Possibly because - and this is faintly embarrassing - I can't stand the thought of Ender Wiggins going through more pain.

And so

Oct. 6th, 2010 11:24 pm
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Resolution: I talked my colleagues into letting me leave the shelter half an hour early (there hadn't been a single customer all day on account of the storm), at which point I walked, in the storm, to the film club which is situated on a pier (and I thought the wind was brutal in the city centre...). I ruined my best umbrella in the process.

But I think it was worth it. The Black Spy (a.k.a. The Spy in Black or U-Boat 29) is a pretty extraordinary movie. Name any other British-made movie wherein the protagonist is a wholly sympathetic German officer serving in WWII. On the German side. Seriously, the movie presents Kapitän Hart as chivalrous, brave and loyal, and at no point does he repent or regret his actions, though of course he inevitably gets his comeuppance.

Looking even more forward to tomorrow's The Thief of Bagdad - can't wait to finally see those legendary special effects! And I'm not being sarcastic!

And bearing no connection to that, how is it that until now I've always thought the Raffles and Bunny books are about two British fighter pilots? Apparently that's not what they're about at all.
tilly_stratford: (QI: The internet is brilliant)
I think I'm much happier about the Pratchett TV adaptations after I decided to view them as nothing more than very very elaborate fan art. Like staring at a three-hour fan-drawn picture. I'm usually the first one to sulk when I feel a movie adaption doesn't do justice to a beloved book, but I finally realized that when it comes to Pratchett adaptations, there is no chance in hell it will be anywhere close to brilliance as the original book. But they can be fun, right?

Going Postal might have a real problem with pacing, and I might have groaned once or twice, but all in all it was a very enjoyable way to spend three hours. I even laughed out loud on several occasions!

Caps and remarks )

So. What will be the enjoyable but ultimately disappointing next Discworld TV movie?
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
- Cried my eyes out clutching my trusted teddy bear Teddy while watching Toy Story 3. Bastards. How dare they make a good sequel to a movie that came out when I was seven.

- Decided on a whim to finally see The Incredible Hulk. The movie held little sway over me UNTIL TONY STARK WALKED INTO THE BAR OMG DID YOU SEE THAT. SUDDENLY MOVIE CROSSOVERS MAKES ME REALLY EXCITED. Puzzling. My excitement seemed to have little to do with "Robert Downey Jr. is pretty to look at" because Tony went "We're putting a team together" and General Asshole went "Who?" and Tony looked at him all "bitch please" and I went "THE AVENGERS OMG THE AVENGERS MOVIE CAN IT BE 2012 NOOOOW PLEASE YAY AVENGERS."

I just. I don't even. I already know they're making an Avengers movie. I'm not even particularly invested in the Avengers apart from having read some twenty issues from the original run. But there I am freaking out like a five-yearold on psychostimulants. Time to wind down I think.

And MIND-BREAKING DREAM:

I swear I'm not going to make this into my dream journal but my subconcious is clearly smoking some good shit these days. I dreamed I watched a black and white movie adaption of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from the early sixties. William Shatner was in it (if I ever confessed how many weird dreams I have that features the Shat I would die of embarassment) and he played... The Mock Turtle. Wearing a traffic cone on his head. He did a heartbreaking rendition of The Mock Turtle's Song in true Shatnerian style while playing listlessly on a Hammond organ.

Yeah you wish you had as awesome dreams as me.
tilly_stratford: (ST: The bitches love it)
for blogging!

I'm more hungry than I am sleepy though. I sort of never got around to grocery shopping these last few days, so I had a tin of beans for supper and now my cupboard's all empty.

Anyway, lying awake I came to the decision that I ought to come clean: These last two weeks I've been enjoying the audio book of Shatner's autobiography Up Till Now immensely.

In show business a kick in the pants is never just a kick in the pants. It requires analysis. )

In closing (why do I always get so wordy when I'm sleepy?), all I can say about it was really that it did the only thing I demand of a good audio experience: It made me humiliate myself by bursting out laughing in public. Few things can top a whispered retelling of the plot of Nightmare At 20,000 Feet followed by an intense, hummed rendition of the Twilight Zone theme. "Do dee doo-doo doo..."
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Russian Watson)
I thought I was going to get a lot of time to blog once I got past that first weekend in east Norway, but no.

What have I done since you last heard from me? Cut off about half of my dread extensions, attended a funeral, watched more Star Trek with my sister, spectacularily failed to join in on the COP15 online climate debate, popped over to Sweden. Not in that order.

I also strolled into Lørenskog public library, where I spent much of my teenage years. Every time I visit that library I still have to affectionately leaf through the collected translated Holmes stories (with original Paget illustrations). This book, that book, those are the exact same books I read all those years ago, when the arcane language and exciting plots were completely new to me.

And on the way home* from the library I passed those gigantic billboards for the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie. At this point I regarded them with amused disdain. Kinky whip, Watson. Gone a bit crazy with the hair gel over there, Holmes.

And of course: [livejournal.com profile] _grayswandir_, YOU ROCK. You rock SO HARD. Apparantly lj fixed things and I don't have to buy a t-shirt at all. Thank you hon!


*"Home" is wherever my luggage happens to be situated at the time.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
It's really shameful how my mood improves when I buy fun things. Only for a short time, but it's amazing what a difference a couple of DVDs and paperbacks can make. I can tell the reward endorphins in my brain are kicking in.

There's a sale on selected works of Jens Bjørneboe at the student centre, so now I'm reading Før hanen galer ('Ere the cock crows') inbetween studying (nothing like nazi war crimes to wind down am I right?)

And ooooh! My local movie store had Welles' experimental 1974 film, F for Fake, so I'm now going to be the world's first Welles fan who sees that before seeing Chimes at Midnight ('cause hold the phone, there's a movie out there with Welles in the role of Falstaff playing opposite John Gielgud, and it is somehow not readily available in every DVD outlet in country? What's wrong with the world?). I was so excited when I bought F for Fake yesterday I decided to wait a bit, and ended up seeing Re-Animator instead (which was... not as entertaining as I've been led to believe. Not my thing.)

One of these days I'm going to find something interesting to write here.
tilly_stratford: (Trek: Spock bitchfit)
Aaargh the last month I've been contemplating buying this one particular book just for my love for cheesy crack, and then today I find out that the author wanted to offer it as a free download for one day only.

Yesterday. Damnit!

Oh Shatnerquake, your insanity has been denied me once again.

Totally unrelated, I'm a few days behind on The Daily Show - isn't Jane Goodall the sweetest woman ever? I'll need to check if the local library will have her new book available.

Right right, exam tomorrow, enough of this procrastination. Time to return to Ashoka and Alexander and Shi Huangdi and the rest of the gang.
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Earlier this week somebody over at [livejournal.com profile] ontd_startrek (which I keep pretending not to lurk at) linked to this failtastic article about how scifi is reportedly being "feminized" and how it's OMG RUINING EVERYTHING. Then somebody made a motivator quoting the article and I still haven't stopped laughing at it.

And now I've started giggling again because I caught a glimpse of it while uploading it. AHAHAA. I JUST DON'T KNOW.

I can do a very nice segue from featherbrains who can't enjoy fiction with females in it too, since I also felt like having a go at that wonderful meme making the rounds these days:

100 awesome female characters )

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