fable: (disappear)
Not sure if there are still people following this journal? But as you can tell, I don't really use it anymore.

I'm in the process of moving my fics to ao3 here.

The only newish thing is east of the sun, west of the moon, my obsidian!tezufuji fic. (It only took a decade or so for me to figure out what to do with it!) The first two parts, which I wrote before, are substantially revised to fit my new ending. Have added another, and I'm going to be posting a new chapter every week-ish or so until its done on ao3.

Anyway, if you are still following, thanks for everything! Tenipuri was a very fun fandom to play around in.
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So, yeah, I have one of the shortest attention spans in the world. But I really think I've just become a Nesta fan for life. His story is just so dramatic.


Imagine that you're born in a family of dedicated fans, and we're not talking about watch-a-game-once-in-a-while dedication but the kind that leads in some cases to religious conversion. They, and now you, support a football club, Lazio, that frankly kind of sucks. Its been relegated to Series B at times, and while its uber-rival Roma (and, we're not talking Cubs vs Sox rivalry here; we're talking Friday Night Lights small town Texas football rivalry) isn't all that great either, it has at least managed to hang on to Series A.

You like playing football, are pretty good at it, and it isn't long before a scout from Roma takes interest and asks you to join their football club. Your father, of course, says no - it might be better not to play at all than to play for the wrong team. Fortunately for you, the right team does eventually take an interest. You join when you're eleven, rise through their squad to start playing professional games at sixteen. It is an opportunity that most Italian players don't get until their twenties, if at all.

That isn't the end of it, though. You're a star, the real thing. At eighteen you're called to play for Italy's under-21 squad, and when the team wins you're voted best defender of the games; at 20 you're named the best defender in the world by your hero, Baresi; at 21 you're nominated captain of your team, which you lead to national victory for the first time in over twenty years, and then again and again. You sign a five year multi-million dollar contract, the most lucrative contract that a defender has ever signed.

Of course there are tragedies along the way. Your injury in 1998 when it was rumored that you might not recover, the death of your sister that you refuse to discuss with the media. But you're living your dream, and that of your family and neighbors and friends and city; every day you're playing with your idols and your friends, with Chamot who you used to watch on TV and who now stands beside you on the field, with Sclosa who invites you to family dinners so you don't feel homesick, with Favalli who gave you a scooter when you first debuted, just because you looked so tired every morning from the commute. You hate talking to the press, but in one of the few statements you make, you say that you would like to play with Lazio until you're 35, that you never want to leave Rome and therefore hope that one day, like Baresi, they will retire your number. In yet another interview, you say that you have two wishes - to remain at Lazio and to always be coached by Eriksson. Nothing about becoming the best football player in the world (though undoubtedly you would like to be) or the richest or the most famous (you have never really cared for the money or the fame). You just want for this dream to last.

And then, one day, things starts to come undone. Read more... )


So I wrote this mainly from what my friend told me about Nesta and the articles she linked me to. (Let me know if there's anything inaccurate?) I'm completely enthralled with Nesta's career, all his high points and low ones. And this is only the half of it, too - I could seriously go on and on about the further injuries he suffered, his partnership with Maldini and how he fits into the Milan team, his friendship with Cannavaro, rivalry with Totti, etcetc. His career is amazingly dramatic, especially considering that outside Italy he's virtually unknown (and seems to like it that way, too). But I won't, because I'm lazy, and this is the part that really hooks me anyway, this and the fact that he's settled into Milan now. There were rumors last year that he would go back to Lazio, but instead he renewed his contract with Milan, said that he's happy where he is and hopes to retire there. And I really admire that, how he was able to let his old dreams go, without any fuss or bitterness, especially in the beginning when it was the last thing he could've wanted (there is an interview that says that he was hoping until the end that the transfer wouldn't go through), how he was able to move on with such grace and professionalism.

When asked about that time now, he says: "Thrown unexpectedly into a completely different reality, at first I found it hard to get used to it because I missed my world, a difficulty that was also mirrored on the pitch, in my performance. However, I found colleagues I knew, like Paolo Maldini (who helped me a lot), and managers always attentive to every situation. Now I feel fine, perfectly integrated in rossoneri ways and in the city."

When he transferred, those first few days, Milan had been crazy supportive of him, as if to make up for the way Rome had completely rejected him - they welcomed him like no other player before and, even more importantly, there were no signs of friction from the team. (One of the AC Milan players, Ibrahim Ba, without being asked, offered his #13 jersey to Nesta - because, he said, he knew that it was an important number, the one Nesta had always played under.[2]) And by now Nesta's become so integral, so instrumental in that club's victories, that its hard to even imagine it without him, and he's never expressed regrets at the way the transfer turned out. And yet, and yet. The part that grabs me, that makes it all bittersweet. Even now, when asked what the best moment of his career was. Nesta doesn't name the under-21 world cup win, or the semifinal euro win, or any one of the several championships he won with Milan. He says: "winning the scudetto with Lazio. It was really a childhood dream come true."

[2] So apparently there were times when he flirted with numbers other than 13. But, even when he was going through the experimental phase, notice how the numbers all add up to 13.
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Unlocking the secret sounds of language. (link taken from [livejournal.com profile] alphabet_soup)

This is so cool.

that's it?

Oct. 17th, 2005 03:44 pm
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To all the people out there who enjoyed reading Umberto Eco's Name Of The Rose - how?
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Was surfing ljs and came across the poetry meme again, and better late than never, right? When you see this, if you haven't already, post a poem in your lj.

Dark Pines Under Water

This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you
came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.

Gwendolyn MacEwen
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HBO has a great webpage describing the background of the series here. I love these quotes from Bruno Heller, the executive producer and writer for the series:

"[Rome] has more in common with places like Mexico City and Calcutta than quiet white marble. Rome was brightly colored, a place of vibrant cruelty, full of energy, dynamism and chaotic filth. It was a merciless existence, dog-eat-dog, with a very small elite, and masses of poverty."

I think that's what I like about this series the most. As [livejournal.com profile] thecaelum said here, the city is just as vibrant and dynamic, cruel and remarkable, as any of the characters. I usually hate don't care for movies/series based on classical times. But Rome I'm completely spellbound by.

"Human nature never changes," continues Heller, "and the great thing about the Romans, from a dramatic perspective, is that they're a people with the fetters taken completely off. They had no prosaic God telling them right from wrong and how to behave. It was a strictly personal morality, and whether or not an action is wrong would depend on whether people more powerful than you would approve. You were allowed to murder your neighbor or covet his wife if it didn't piss off the wrong person. Mercy was a weakness, cruelty a virtue, and all that mattered was personal honor, loyalty to yourself and your family."

This take also fascinates me, and I agree with Heller, human nature never changes. And the ideology we have now, in theory if not in practice (and a rather theoretical theory at times), that each life is precious, was inverted, for life was known, acknowledged, assumed to be very cheap. And the sheer viciousness of it all, the gladiator games, slavery, poverty, the violence and careless cruelty prevalent in what some call the most civilized empire of ancient times, the dichotomy of that is something I find endlessly intriguing. And I love that the show doesn't pull any punches showing that, that it isn't Rome filtered through 20th century ideals, as most shows/movies of this nature are, that even in the most conservative, idealistic characters in this series such as Lucius, the expounder of duty and stoicism, slavery was not just never questioned, but thought to be a good thing, a thing that could bring him profit.

Summary: I think this show rocks. When's the next episode coming out? XD
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An excerpt from the book The Rule of Four (which I have mixed feelings about mostly, but then I come across parts like this):

Read more... )

and then, later:

Read more... )

It sounds like the most wonderful city ever.
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It's interesting, though not unexpected, what the Bush administration is trying to do (and succeeding in doing) - pinning the blame on local and state authorities, saying that there was no way they could have known what had happened, and even if they did, they had not been granted authority by those governments to help. Their two main fronts of attack seem to be:

Read more... )

Visit TPMCafe: Pick Apart the White House's Buck-Passing (hell, the whole TPM site), and Daily Kos's Disastrous Response Timeline. Probably the most interesting thing I've seen is the following comment, because I've long thought that how you frame an issue is as important, if not more, than the facts you present. That's one area that the Republicans have mastered, and the Democrats have a lot of ground to cover to catch up with them, to change the public opinion.

Anyway, this appeared over at the TPMCafe:
Read more... )
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Gathering links for my own reference. Will be updated when I find more.

links )
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Control Room is a documentary on the Arab television network Al-Jazeera, chronicling their coverage of the Iraqi war.

A friend recommended this to me, and I watched it mainly because I was curious about how the network worked, and not at all about the war, assuming that I already knew what had happened. And it did focus very tightly on the network - it introduced us to the people who produced the news, such as Samir Khader, the senior producer, an ex-Iraqi who wanted to send his children to the US to study, and Deema Khatib, a woman staff member, highly educated and eloquent, just to name two, and I found myself wishing that the discussions we see on the news today were anything near as thought-provoking as the ones they had with each other, with the American military reps. (Which isn't to say that I don't think they were biased - of course they were biased, being who they were, and of course we are biased, being who we are, and as Mrs. Khatib stated in the movie, it seems a bit pointless to harp on that. What mattered to me is that it was clear that they tried to understand the other viewpoint, and that their viewpoint was that of other educated Arabs, and one I almost never hear, living in the U.S.)

A one minute exerpt from the movie:

Read more... )

What I found the most compelling, however, was when the film focused on the war, the consequences of it - because I thought I knew what had happened, but I really hadn't. And, goddd. One of the most moving parts was of the day when America bombed Al-Jazeera headquarters in Iraq (along with the headquarters of two other Arab journalism outfits), stating that they had thought there were terrorists in those buildings. That the American military told such a simplistic lie and got away with it, the consequences that others had to face because of what they did. This is an exerpt from that sequence, of Samir Khader describing what happened on that day.

Read more... )

And just - there were so many parts like this, and perhaps what happened, what's still happening, can best be described by what Deema Khatib said: "The whole war actually is like an American movie. You know the end, you know who's the hero, you know the bad guys, they're going to die. But you still watch because you want to know how it's going to happen and what weapons they're going to use to do it."

Ping! Pong!

May. 9th, 2005 07:51 am
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Watched Ping Pong this weekend, because I vaguely remembered [livejournal.com profile] two_if_by_sea (and possibly others?) reccing it (Cathy, you wanted someone to write China/Smile wtf?). It's a Japanese film based on a manga about swimming.

(Or not.)

It's about two boys - Smile, who's quiet and introspective and almost never smiles, hence the nickname, and his best friend Peco, who's absent-minded and brash and whose stated goal in life is to be the best ping-pong player in the world (but whose supah-sekrit actual goal in life is to make Smile smile again), though this has never stopped him from missing more club practices than he attends. Smile doesn't really care about winning, sometimes intentionally losing to Peco because he doesn't want Peco to feel bad, while Peco tries to crush any opponent that crosses his path. However, when they go to a tournament and play against China (a boy, not a country), it soon becomes apparent that Smile is a much better player.

The reason you should watch this, if you haven't yet - Smile and Peco are so cute, and the film is quirky in the way that Amelie & Tokyo Grandfathers were quirky - surreal and amusing and with original, unforgettable characters, and there is a coach who used to be called Butterfly Joe who regularly asks Smile out on a date, and there are Kung-Fu-like ping-pong moves, and anologies about playing ping-pong being like flying, and dialogue like this (paraphrased, because my memory's horrid):

Peco: he [Smile] treats the game like a salaryman
Peco's, err, aunt?: it must get tiresome living like that
Peco [with the CUTEST EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE]: he's very cute when he smiles, though
Smile [off screen presumably not-smiling]

I'd kill for Smile/Peco fic right about now.

There's a torrent (as well as a wonderful summary) for the movie here.
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An informative website on the psychology of online gaming. Found it interesting to draw parallels between MMORGs and lj-fandom, if only because I think that framework is much more applicable than that of, say, us being revolutionaries or counter-revolutionaries (though not nearly as romantic *woes*). Particularly liked this study on online relationships. (I think some of it's quite brilliant, really, as I'm likely to think of anything I agree with.)

Also, this article on gifted children, and the resulting discussion here.

what am I missing here? )

book rec

Aug. 17th, 2004 02:16 pm
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A book I've been re-reading recently - Young Men & Fire by Norman Maclean. It's nominally about the Mann Gulch fire of 1949, where thirteen smokejumpers died. It talks about the history of the smokejumpers, the geography and geology of the gulch, the science of fire and firefighting, the author's own personal experiences with firefighting, approaching the tragedy from all different angles. There are some rough parts, but the language is almost mystically beautiful, and it's taught me as much about the art of writing, of searching out a story and its meaning, as any book I can think of.

a paragraph excerpt from the book )
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Flanders, by Patricia Anthony

The novel is set in the trenches of WWI. The main character is Travis Lee Stanhope, a Texan sharpshooter who serves in an English unit and sees ghosts. He writes to his brother at home, and we see the war through his letters, life that's at turns desperate and funny and innocent and brutal and haunting and loved.

One of the reviewers said that he would've read the book the whole way through, if his tears had let him. And that says it all, really. I stayed up to finish this book and now I can't sleep because I can't let go of the story.

It's so achingly beautiful and I didn't want it to end, not like it did.

oh man!

Mar. 19th, 2002 04:15 pm
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[a generic link to a generic lj-entry]

[expressions of amusement]

link taken from tavella

Edited to add: leave a generic comment, if you wish.
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I can't believe I almost forgot about this. One of my favorite poems of all time, by Gerard Manley Hopkins. So haunting and sad and beautiful and true.

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! As the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, not spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leaf meal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now, no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
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