dolorosa_12: (Default)
I'm such a sucker for memes, especially music ones. These two were snagged from [ profile] msdillydally.

Pick your current favorite 5 singers/bands, before reading the questions below.
Massive Attack
The Knife
Florence+The Machine
The Naked and Famous

answers behind the cut )

iTunes meme follows.

answers behind the cut )
dolorosa_12: (una)
I am so grateful.

I am grateful to Alex, for the music.

I am grateful to [ profile] thelxiepia, for telling me to go for a walk to improve my mood and getting me the hell out of the house.

I am grateful to M, who, upon hearing of said walk, responded, 'you should take some music, because that always makes you happier'. It does indeed. Pretending it's the soundtrack to running away from zombies makes me happy, for some inexplicable reason.

And then this song came on. Honestly, there was no way I was going to feel sad when this was playing. This is the song that reminds me I can be strong, I can be brave, I can be happy and beautiful and feel wonder.

Sometimes I just need some tough love. True friends are not enablers, and I'm incredibly grateful to have them.

Not having internet at home (beyond the unreliable wifi the neighbours are kindly letting us use) is making me feel very awful. I think I'm going to have to be stricter with myself about stuff in order to avoid getting into such a state again. Thus:

No internet at home. I will be in the internet cafe in the evenings, but I'm not allowed to use it at home at all. (So no forums, sporadic blogging, no chat. For the sake of my sanity.)

Get up at 6 every morning and just run. No excuses. Doesn't matter how cold and dark it is, that's the rule.

Thesis. Every day.

Looking at my tags, I am all about the literary allusions to dispossession. One of these days I'll have to write something about that.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
Sometimes my brain worries me.

So, I generally have some bizarre commentary running through my head whenever I'm walking, and this commentary usually has a soundtrack. Without any warning, as I was walking to my German class this morning, the Heidelberg cobblestones brought to my mind the most vivid image: Babylonne Kidrouk, the protagonist of Pagan's Daughter, rushing through the streets of 13th-century Toulouse, wearing an iPod, playing 'Firestarter' by The Prodigy. Hey, don't blame me, I'm just a product of my Gen-Y remix culture!

You know how I do geeky things like make playlists for fictional characters? Yeah, guess what I did next...

Firestarter: A Babylonne Kidrouk Playlist )

Babylonne would totally listen to melodramatic dance music. And if not, she would listen to angsty 90s nu metal. You know it's true.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I haven't had internet at home for a while, so I'm just now catching up on all my feeds, There's been a lot of interesting stuff posted recently, so I thought I'd make a linkpost.

Sarah Rees Brennan posted this thought-provoking piece about what it means to be an author and have an internet presence.

And then, for a total change in tone, she wrote a hilarious liveblog of Teen Wolf, making it sound so funny that I might be tempted to check it out.

Catherynne M. Valente posted about how she was fed up with arguing about ebooks.

She also wrote about the misconceptions social conservatives hold about 'women's work', and the supposed golden age of pre-industrial times.

[ profile] sophiamcdougall made a Romanitas playlist. I geeked out.

Here's an article from Rolling Stone about the effects of global warming in Australia. I found myself nodding away to pretty much everything being said.

It's been said before, but it needs to be said again: unpaid internships are exploitative and perpetuate inequality.

Our forum interviewed Philip Pullman.

Finally, I blogged about the start of the semester in Germany.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
So, I'm meant to be learning German modal verbs, but what ended up happening was that [ profile] sophiamcdougall and I discussed making playlists for stories/characters. And then of course I began whining that all my fandoms are small, and WOE IS ME, THE STORIES THAT GRIP ME ALWAYS HAVE A FANDOM OF LIKE TWO OTHER PEOPLE.

And then I had to make a Presh/Allyman* playlist. Because that's how I roll.

I change shapes just to hide in this place but I'm still just an animal )

Wow all my ships are dark. Dark dark dark. (Also, I had to seriously refrain from using the same Tiësto and Florence+The Machine songs I use for all playlists because 'Rushes into my heart and my skull' and 'No more dreaming like a girl so in love with the wrong world' are very very Ronni lyrics and I always tend to associate them with EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.)

*Presh and Allyman are my favourite characters from Gillian Rubinstein's Galax-Arena books. I love those crazy, damaged, brilliant kids so much. So much it HURTS, you know.
dolorosa_12: (una)
Anyone who's seen me anywhere online in the past 24 hours knows that I've been going through an extended rapture-and-awe session about the music of Florence + The Machine. This, inevitably, provoked a review of the Lungs album on my Wordpress blog.

She sings about woman as body laid bare, not just naked but dissected, cut open and reduced to its component parts. And she does it with such compassion, beauty, sorrow, jubilation and power that I’m left feeling like I’ve been run over by a train after listening.

dolorosa_12: (Default)

I am aware that I am not meant to feel this way about music. I'm not meant to feel this way about anything. Once you stop being a teenager, it's considered somewhat shameful to express enthusiasm and love for something.* It's considered adolescent and self-absorbed to love things because they SPEAK TO YOUR SOUL, IT'S DEEP.

But this song. God, this song. I love it so much. I love it so much it hurts. I love it unrequitedly and without qualification. I love its words and its sound, and what its words mean, and how they mean, and what they mean to me. We are fond, we on the internet, of saying that 'this or that is love'. This song is love. Love is it. It is, literally, what love is to me. Tiësto is speaking to my soul, yeah.

It's adolescent. It isn't even the most amazing song ever, and the lyrics aren't that clever. But it is. It just gives words to something that I can't articulate properly, and for that, I love it and it is beautiful.

Lyrics )

* I realise I'm preaching to the converted. Most of my LJ friends are fandom people, and what is fandom if not love to the point of obsession, the very definition of enthusiasm?
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
Why is it that in all rental properties, there's always something that goes wrong? We've been having problems with our washing machine for ages. When you put it on, it can't get to the spin cycle at all. Initially, we got around this by physically switching it to spin when the other parts of the cycle had finished. After a while, this stopped working too, and so we first had to switch it to drain, then to spin.

Today, it refused to drain at all. When I woke up this morning, I thought, 'well, it's a beautiful sunny day, I don't have to be in the department until 1pm, so why don't I wash our sheets and M's towels? That way, they can dry on the line in the sun all day!' But the Washing Machine of Death had other plans, and our sheets and the towels have been stuck in the machine for three hours, while I desperately tried out every damn setting trying to get it to drain. If I could've just opened the door, it would've been okay, as there's a laundrette down the road and I could've used its dryers.

As is usual in such situations, the landlord's gone AWOL. J emailed him ages ago, and M emailed him again two weeks ago. He promised to be in (last) Monday to check it out. He wasn't. I just phoned him. He claimed to be in a meeting and that he'd phone me back in half an hour. We'll see.

In other, happier news, I simply CANNOT STOP PLAYING THIS SONG. It's a clip from the Tiësto concert in Victoria Park that I went to last year, but it's not your usual shaky camera-phone footage. I'm also pretty sure it's me jumping around like a lunatic at 4.42. Woo! Youtube fame!

ETA: The landlord's called and tried to sort some stuff out. No one can actually fix the machine until Wednesday, but apparently there's a way to drain it manually. I don't have time to try it now, but hopefully I can sort that out tonight.

ETA: M fixed the washing machine on Monday and we tried it out yesterday with a load of H's laundry. When it got to the spin cycle on its own, I danced around the kitchen.
dolorosa_12: (una)
The title of this post deserves an Una icon because she is AWESOME.

I had to do something about all the tabs I've got saved in Firefox, so you're all getting a linkpost. Aren't you lucky? The first is a discussion about whether epic fantasy has been 'feminised'. I think I came across that link via [ profile] kateelliott. Then, I've got a couple of links relating to GLBTQ characters in fiction, and how outing characters in extra-textual spaces (webisodes, interviews etc) does not really address the problem.

Then Patton Oswalt posted this article on Wired about the supposed demise of geek culture, and rodo on Dreamwidth and seperis, also on Dreamwidth pointed out that rumours of geekdom's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Those last couple of links are courtesy of [ profile] metafandom.

Neil Gaiman remains as awesome as ever, as does Jo Walton. Seriously lacking in the awesome, however, is Sebastian Faulks, who, in a BBC programme about the history of the English novel, claimed that Shakespeare's heroes lacked both personality and flaws. To which I say, have some Borges!

Then I read about this (trigger warning for rape) and got even more angry. Thank goodness the good folks at Tiger Beatdown are all over it. (A couple of good other Tiger Beatdown posts on the subject: Sadie calls out the Democrats on their deceptive advertising with regards to HR3 and a post about contraception and abortion, and the problems relating to them in the US. (This freaked me out somewhat, since it's a subject about which I'd only been dimly aware. I had some vague idea that things were somewhat better in Australia, where I lived until 2008, and the UK, where I live now, but it suddenly occurred to me that I have LITERALLY NO IDEA about how such things work in either Australia or the UK. For all I know I could be wringing my hands with pity at the situation in the US and it could be just as bad here.))

As a unicorn chaser of sorts, I hung around listening to this song by [ profile] seanan_maguire. That made me feel a whole lot better!
dolorosa_12: (skepticism)
To the creationist dude who was shouting at everyone on Sidney Street today:

My life has meaning, thank you very much. It may not have the meaning you want it to have, but it has meaning.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
This is my song for 2011:

Google the lyrics and you'll understand why.
dolorosa_12: (sokka)
I've just got back from Thirroul, where Mum, Mimi and I were having our usual one-week-before-Christmas lunch with my cousins, aunts and uncles from my dad's side of the family. We were listening to Marshall Crenshaw in the car on the way home. Marshall Crenshaw, in case you didn't know, sings music that sounds very fifties in style.

I remember when I was younger, I was obsessed with his song 'Cynical Girl'. You can tell from the lyrics that it's the sort of song with which I would've identified.

I used to wish that people would see that side of my personality, sometimes.
dolorosa_12: (una)

I think I'm going to have to let go of certain things. Song highly relevant, as always.

Sorry to be cryptic. Nothing's wrong, I'm just kind of pensive about stuff. Sraffies know what I'm talking about (or at least those who were in chat this morning: Alex, Nanaki, Steffi and [ profile] cereswunderkind).

Mixed bag

Oct. 29th, 2010 01:52 pm
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Have I got links for you!

I was introduced to the site TED a while ago, but in recent days I've been linked to two really fantastic talks. The first, Ken Robinson on how schools kill creativity, was sent to me by my friend D (who has been visiting Cambridge) and really resonated with me. The other is author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talking about 'the dangers of a single story'. It reminded me a lot of [ profile] deepad's post 'I didn't dream of dragons'. I grew up a voracious reader, and, as an Australian, read a wide variety of English-language children's books, but I think the majority of them were written by Australians, Americans and British authors. Their characters looked like me, for the most part (although many of the young-adult books I read, especially those set in contemporary Australia, were about CoC, but mainly from the perspective of immigration to Australia). This was unremarkable to me at the time, but I now believe that reading such monochromatic books, and hearing, as Adichie says, a single story about those from other backgrounds is bad for everyone involved.

The Adichie link I encountered through a post on Tiger Beatdown about female characters in literature. I cannot sing the praises of Tiger Beatdown enough. If you add one site to your blogroll, add that one. It is consistently one of the most engaging and interesting places on the internet. The next post is a link to Tiger Beatdown blogger Sady Doyle's column for The Awl, which is about feminist utopias (specifically Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon books) in SF. I link to the Tiger Beatdown link, rather than the (excellent) Awl article itself, because it expresses, most eloquently, the complexity of people such as Bradley, who wrote about utopias while being deeply flawed individuals on so many levels.

Another person who is greatly inspiring to me, but is not without his flaws, is Neil Gaiman. I'm thrilled at his latest idea, which is to introduce a Halloween tradition that involves giving people books as gifts. What a wonderful idea! Being Neil Gaiman, he's able to command a lot of respect, and if you read the next posts in his blog you'll see that he has managed to coopt a lot of big names to participate in this scheme.

Another author I greatly admire is Kristin Cashore. She's a truly wonderful human being and says some very interesting stuff on her blog. I'm not recommending any one particular post, since she is consistently fantastic.

And now on to something completely different! Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope done in Facebook status updates. And a cool op-ed piece by Lucy Mangan about how having sisters supposedly benefits your mental health. As a woman with three sisters, I concur. I love my sisters very much.

I can't stop playing 'Bang Bang Bang' by Mark Ronson and The Business INTL (Feat. Q-Tip and MNDR). It's so catchy! My housemate and I were puzzling over the lyrics, and it took me way too long to realise that they're actually quoting 'Alouette'. That made me feel kind of silly.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
As you probably all know, I get seriously obsessed with particular bands or artists. The current favourite is Miike Snow. It's beautiful, ethereal synthpop, with pretty, pretty lyrics.

For example:

There was a time when my world was filled with darkness, darkness darkness. Then I stopped dreaming, now I'm supposed to fill it up with something, something, something. )

I wanna rewrite my heart and let the future in )

This one's my absolute favourite. (It's missing some words.)

The night is just enough for both of us )
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
These are my two favourite (Australian) political songs.

Clips and lyrics )

Julia: I am relieved that Labor remains in power, but I'm watching. Please don't screw things up.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
I promise I'll write something other than music-posts soon, but I've been flat out with travel and work recently. I am, in fact, writing this (very self-indulgent) post while I'm on a break from editing my thesis chapter.

While I was on my run this morning, I started thinking about the songs that I would choose to define each year of my life.

These are the songs I concluded did so )

I regret nothing.
dolorosa_12: (travis)
As you all know, I'm obsessed with song lyrics. I particularly like it when songs play on words, or express very complex ideas in simple yet resonant language. I have an example of both types of clever lyrics. The first is 'Thieves in the Night' by Hot Chip. (They're from Cambridge, incidentally. But they hated it here and spent all their time hanging around in a record shop on Mill Road, apparently.)

A want is a lack but also desire
A need can be nothing but should be held higher
A need is a want wearing disguise
It can be confused if fuelled by desire
Baby I'm calling your name in the night
No reason with need look into my eyes

Happiness is what we all want
May it be that we don't always want
Happiness is what we all want
May it be that we don't all want

Youtube clip here )

Then we've got 'We Share Our Mother's Health' by The Knife. Oh, The Knife. Who else would be able to make a song tying in Vikings, 'Scandinavian socialism' and misogyny?

Live version because it's awesome )
dolorosa_12: (Default)
My list of musical favourites stays fairly static: Massive Attack has been my favourite band since 2000, I've liked The Pogues since I was six years old, Regurgitator since I was 12, Daft Punk since I was 15 and even Calexico for the past four years. What tends to happen is that I'll add about one band/singer and five or six songs to the repertoire of 'beloved music' every six months or so, and at any given time, there'll be about two songs that I'll have on pretty much continuous repeat. (This year, the first added band was The Knife, and the second has been Pendulum.)

What this means is that although I have a pretty stable list of 'top 10 favourite songs', at any given time, there'll be a different list of 'songs I can't live without right now'. At the moment, these are the songs:
Beautiful music )

Cool stuff

May. 28th, 2010 06:34 pm
dolorosa_12: (una)
Most to-the-point title ever, yes?

Anyway, I've been gathering links to lots and lots of interesting things over the past week or so, but haven't had time to post on LJ. Thus, a lot of the stuff I link to is going to be old. *sigh*

I've been watching Veronica Mars. I don't know why I didn't watch it when it actually aired. I suspect it had something to do with Australian networks showing it at odd times, and then I forgot about it for ages, found Kirsten Bell's character on Heroes extremely annoying and decided never to watch anything with her in it ever again. But I'm glad I changed my mind, since the first season, in particular, is excellent, up there with the best seasons of Buffy in terms of quality.

I'm going to write my own post about it on Wordpress at some point, but for now, check out Abigail Nussbaum's posts about the series, which are absolutely spot on, in my opinion.

While browsing The Hathor Legacy, I came across a series of posts about Love, Actually, which really do a good job of analysing the film from a feminist perspective.

For some other good posts on feminism, see Sady Doyle writing about The Tudors and Beyoncé. The second post isn't exactly 'cool stuff', as these three posts about why Glee gets it so terribly, terribly wrong when it comes to portraying disability aren't either. I've always had issues with Glee, and when the episode directed by Joss and starring NPH couldn't get rid of my qualms, I decided to give up watching. Those posts help explain why.

Laurie Penny says everything I've ever wanted to say about Sex and the City in New Statesman.

This post on BoingBoing ('What Disney Princesses teach girls') and a related image, 'What Disney Princes teach men about attracting women' are just so utterly, utterly perfect that I felt I had to include them.

Finally, some music for your weekend! It goes without saying that Pendulum are awesome. It goes without saying that the old-school ABC News theme (Australian ABC, not US) is awesome. The only thing more awesome? Pendulum remixing the ABC News theme! Check it out!

ETA: After all that, I forgot to link the stuff I initially made this post to show you! *smacks forehead*

In case you didn't know, I'm now blogging for the ABC's Book Show blog (fulfilling a lifelong dream/accepting my fate of working for the ABC). I'm ridiculously proud of this fact. My third post is here. I also blog for my department at Cambridge sometimes, and my most recent post is here. It's a report on that conference that I was stressing about.


dolorosa_12: (Default)
rushes into my heart and my skull

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