skov and swan make out to this when they’re stoned as fuck, sherbet pink sunset light filtering in through the window and illuminating the smoke that still hangs in the air as their hands and lips wander.
(*if you don’t have spotify, you can listen here on soundcloud! for some reason tumblr just wasn’t letting me post the soundcloud link directly.)
Listening to hesitant alien is like coming home when you didn’t know you were away from it, it’s like smelling something familiar but not being able to place it, it’s like when the weather is rainy but sunny, it’s like houses with wood paneled interiors and plush orange carpets, it’s striped shirts and perfume and hot pavement and the sound of distant sirens. It’s so many different feelings and thoughts and experiences packed into one album that it’s just incredible
If you could only read one book from now on, which would it be?
This is a question that often gets asked in my circle of friends, usually after a few drinks, and my answer is always the same – I would pay someone to bind all of Terry Pratchett’s work into one ginormous book just for me.
When that doesn’t pass muster and I am accused of cheating (which I usually am) I then have to choose between Terry’s books. And that, I have to say, is a much more difficult proposition. I know some people say “it doesn’t matter, it’s Terry, you can read any of his books time and time again and find new angles and puns and other titbits of information that you didn’t notice before” and that’s all true but … despite it all, it matters to me.
When I look at my Pterry shelves my choice of re-read is significantly dependent on the mood I’m in and what feelings I’m looking to calm or invoke in myself. Do I want to remind myself of how I felt when I first fell in love with the Discworld? If so I need Reaper Man. Do I want to be reminded that it’s possible to find your purpose and get your life together even when your world seems to have gone to the dogs? Then I need Guards! Guards! Do I want to find the courage to keep making the choices that I know need to be made, day after day after day? Then I need Carpe Jugulum or A Hat Full of Sky. Do I want a reminder why organised religion just does not do it for me? I need Small Gods. Am I hankering after a seriously good laugh set in the Discworld equivalent of Ancient Egypt? Then Pyramids is taken from the shelf. Is it Christmas? I need Hogfather … I could go on. And on. And on. There is not a single book of Terry’s that doesn’t resonate with my soul for one reason or other.
However this form of questioning does not help me narrow down my choice of one book at all and for years I um-ed and ah-ed and then hand-waved and said I couldn’t choose and no-one could make me.
Until one day someone turned the question on its head and instead asked “If you were told you could never read anything ever again, which book would you be most upset about?”
And I immediately said “Night Watch”.
No hesitation - no um-ing and ah-ing, no trying to bend the question to my will – just an instinctual response that had nothing to do with my mood or wanting specific things and everything to do with the sick feeling the thought of never reading it again produced in my stomach.
This book, to me, is the epitome of Terry’s writing and the epitome of what a story can be. There are so many strands to it, so much depth and feeling packed into its 480 pages that I cannot imagine not being able to return to it at will to mine it again and again for every nugget of truth, punnery and glorious understanding of the human condition.
It is both an origin story (for Vimes, for Vetinari, for Ankh-Morpork as we know it), a continuation of the Discworld series and Vimes’ story, and a commentary on – amongst other things - civilisation, revolutions, how we know who we are, and why some of us continue to make the right choices over and over again, no matter how hard they are.
This book helps me make sense of the violence in the world, makes me want to be a better person, and is the reason that each year, on 25th May, I pick a sprig of lilac from the tree growing in my garden and have a hard-boiled egg with soldiers for breakfast.
It also contains such gems as:
“He hated being thought of as one of those people that wore stupid ornamental armour. It was gilt by association”
“The Assassin moved quietly from roof to roof until he was well away from the excitement around the Watch House. His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine against things”
“‘I get it,’ said the prisoner. ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?’
‘If you like.’ said Vimes. 'But we’re a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?’”
And now I’m turning the question over to all you lovely people reading this, but adding a specifically Pterry angle:
If you were never able to read another book written by Terry Pratchett again, which one would you be most upset about?
Do reblog and let me know – sharing the love of Pterry is a wonderful thing!
Hello, everyone! I’m glad to be back <3 Two weeks of grad were intense—classes from 9am to 6pm, plus readings and homework and projects and just generally studying for usually about three hours (or more) each evening before getting up to do it again the next day. Yesterday morning we had our exams, and now the first 20% of my master’s degree is complete :)
ANYWAY! Today I bring you… Chinese??
My blog is pretty much totally geared toward Korean lately, but I haven’t given up on Mandarin! I actually use a few different language exchange apps and sites to chat with native speakers, so even if I’m not actually doing book study, I can get a little practice here and there. However, I have lately been using this app, HelloChinese, to get a little more practice in, and to shore up my basics. I’ve been using it for a bit now, and even used it to get in some short practices during downtime after grad classes, so I figured I would tell you guys how I’m feeling about the app.
(The hamburger isn’t part of the opening screen; that’s just my Chinese dictionary app!)
HelloChinese is set up sort of like Duolinguo, if you’re familiar with that structure. There are different levels that you progress through, from absolute basics and up, though there are shortcuts you can take, sort of to test in to a higher level so you can skip things you already know. I decided to start from the bottom anyway (though I didn’t do the pronunciation part; you can go straight into basics without doing that if you already know how Pinyin works). Each topic starts with a little intro page you can read for some cultural background on the topic, and then you get into learning. New words and grammar are presented with audio and images, and you can choose if you want to see just Pinyin, just the characters (my choice), or both together. Also, blessedly, you can choose to use either traditional or simplified. I love traditional characters, so I was really glad I wouldn’t be forced to use simplified <3
As you progress through each part of the lesson, you’ll be presented with a variety of questions, including vocab-picture matching, translating vocab or sentences, writing characters, and even speaking questions! The individual little lessons are short, but they pack so many activities into them that I feel like it’s a really good, effective format. My favorite thing is actually the final lesson of each topic, which is purely speaking. It judges fairly harshly at times (and I, being a perfectionist, keep retrying each sentence until it judges all of my characters as correct even though you can move on without that), but that certainly isn’t a bad thing if you really want to nail your pronunciation and tones. The only thing that’s a bit disappointing is that if you choose to redo the level, which you can at any time, the questions never change. It would just be nice if it could use the lesson material to build new sentences for each time you try.
There are some other little features outside of the main topics and lessons, but I honestly don’t mess with them much and just keep trucking on forward. You can download the lessons for offline learning, and there is a training function in which you can play games using coins earned from completing lessons. However, you can only play one unless you pay to unlock all of the games. Another feature is word, character, and grammar cards. When practicing those, you can choose specific topics to include or exclude, or you can just do all of them together.
To sum it all up, I really enjoy this app for working on my Mandarin! The progression from basic topics and onward is smooth, you can choose the character set you want to use, and it has good speaking practice and flashcards. It would be nice if the speaking exercises were mixed up a little, and if the games were free, but eh, I guess the developers need to make money somehow! If you’re looking to get into learning Chinese or just need a way to fit some quick and easy practice into your busy day, I would recommend HelloChinese :)
Emil couldn’t keep his jaw from dropping even if he tried. He’s had many surprising things come his way but this takes the cake. Even more so than the day his family surprised him with a birthday celebration. This is ridiculous in so many ways that his mind is sure something isn’t right.
“I mean,” Alfred rubs the back of his head, shuffling from foot to foot in the awkwardness that is Emil not answering him.
“If you don’t want to that’s okay hah I was just. It’s cool ya know?” Alfred backs away from him with his hands up in a no-big-deal kind of way but it is a big deal and Emil manages to snap his jaw shut just in time to think of answer.
“No!” He says reaching out for Alfred to not walk farther away from him.
“I mean..” He can tell his face is heating up and he crosses his arms indignantly. He huffs out with his head turned to the side to maybe make it so Alfred can’t see it.
“That sounds like fun,” He mumbles. Alfred is up close and personal to him in an instant. He takes Emil’s hands from their crossed position to hold them tight.
“Really?” He asks with stars in his eyes. Emil tenses up as he stares at Alfred who just looks far too excited that Emil actually agreed to go on a date with him.
Hoo, boy. Back to this old song. Why did he keep doing it to himself? Even still, maybe by her own childishness, she felt…weirdly…sorry for him. Did she know what the heck she was doing and what was really going on right now? Maybe not. Did he deserve it? Apparently only the grown-ups could decide that…
“You know……just because you’re a bad daddy now doesn’t mean you’re gonna stay that way… And I don’t think ya are, actually. You’re too good'f a guy to never be a good daddy. Know why?” She stands on his lap, reaching up and smooshing his cheeks in her paws. “Cause I’m still here.”
If you can draw some random Toon kid in like her to the point that she’s said she loves you and considers you her big brother, Daffy, you can sure as heck do it with your own kid. That’s what she’s getting at.
Just so you guys know, I’m going to up my queue a bit to stretch out in case the power goes out. My power is pretty stable but if I don’t respond to you please know it’s probably because I’m not able to get on! And please tag me if you see anything interesting! I’d love to get caught up 👀 ❤️ 😊
My head bobbed along to the beat, my feet resting on top of the dashboard of the car as my teal nail polish shined under the bright sun beaming down from above. A soft hum left my full lips to the upbeat indie song playing on the radio.
I was glad for once that I wasn’t the one driving, Antoine by my side doing the navigating instead. We had made a spur of the moment decision to take a road trip to the coast of France to take in the sights of the shore. It was for sure a long drive, more than 9 hours long, but with good weather like this and upbeat music to keep me up I didn’t fear it being too bad of a ride.
It seemed Antoine noticed the pep in my mood as he looked over to me briefly while he had the opportunity. “Are your feet on my dash?”
I giggled. “What? My feet are clean.” I looked down at my toes and wiggled them playfully before feeling him slap his hand down on my leg to send it to the ground.
“No. That’s gross.”
“Really? My feet are gross?” I turned somewhat in my seat, still restricted by the seatbelt I wore before I put my feet into his lap. I could see the sly smile forming from the corner of his lips.
“Your feet are really close to a place they shouldn’t be. Move. I’m trying to concentrate on driving.”
Considering my life was in his hands, I obeyed his wishes and returned to my original position with my feet back on the dash. I looked out of the window, watching the scenery pass by us quickly. It was all so soothing and if I hadn’t been running off two cups of coffee I may have been lulled to sleep by the beautiful scenes following me outside.
I had never been to France so I was ready to take in all of the sights I could granted we wouldn’t be visiting any of the popular monuments. We had agreed to stay in a small, quiet hotel near the shore of the Mediterranean to just enjoy each other’s company in the few free days that we had. I didn’t mind the idea at all.
“My mother asked about you.”
My boyfriend’s sudden speaking caused me to turn my attention from out of the window and towards him. “Oh really? What did she say?”
I still hadn’t gained a feel for how his mother felt for me. We hadn’t talked much. We hadn’t even met in person. Whenever she called his phone and I happened to answer, she practically rushed me off of the line to speak to her son. I didn’t think she was too keen on her son having a new woman in his life that she couldn’t quite get a feeling for.
He seemed reluctant to speak, instead pretending to focus on the road in front of him for a while. “I told her that she should stop by one day…”
“Wait…what?! Stop by the hotel?”
He gave a careless shrug as if he had just suggested a meal for dinner. “I just want you two to meet each other and it only makes sense that with us being a bit closer for a few days she should take the time to meet you now.”
“Well what did she say? Is she coming by?”
He shook his head and a relieved sigh left my lips though I was a bit bothered she hadn’t seemed to agree. “Did she explain why she said no?”
“No and I didn’t ask. Maybe it’s just not the right time for you two to meet. She just needs time that’s all.”
“Time for what?” It wasn’t like Toine and I were too incredibly serious of a couple. We were still in the carefree, young honeymoon phase of our relationship. I doubted he had labeled me as anything too serious just yet.
We went to parties on each other’s arms and when I was too drunk to carry myself home, he’d laugh alongside me and carry me to his place instead. I had at least a hundred pictures of us together in my phone from kissing pictures to those I snuck of him passed out asleep on my couch when he couldn’t stand to watch my movies any longer. We could play childish pranks on each other or make playful bets like the one that ended with him having blonde hair atop of his head for a while. We spent our nights cracking jokes on each other constantly and sending each other way too many emojis than our phones could handle. Our relationship held the essence of a best friend pair only we added in our own combination of sex and romance.
But I’m happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. My friends called it love when they saw it on my face for the first time. I liked to call it a mixture of lust and bliss. I felt like I could be myself around him without judgment. He let me live on my life like I had before his appearance into it, without making me drop friends or hobbies. He wasn’t an intrusion but more of an addition.
“Time to adjust to me being in a relationship. I told you she doesn’t want me getting serious with anyone right now. She thinks it’s not good for my career and my focus and blah blah,” he waved off the words. “I think she’s starting to realize how happy I am with you but she still needs time to get around her own opinion.”
I was glad he didn’t hold the same opinion because if so, we would have probably ended up breaking apart weeks ago. I reached over and ran my hands through his now darker locks, scruffing his hair messily between my fingers. It was my silent way of showing appreciation.
“Off of this topic, what are we going to do when we get to our destination? I was thinking a night swim,” I smiled. I had packed so many bikinis in my bag I had a feeling I was going to end up wearing those more than actual clothes.
“I was thinking a nap,” he chuckled.
“Aw come on! We only have a few days to enjoy this place and you want to waste it away sleeping? What kind of fun is that, Griezmann? What happened to the adventurous boyfriend I had that liked to have fun?”
“He did all of the driving.” He smirked. I rolled my eyes.
“There’s no way I’m letting you just go to sleep. Go hard or go home, Griez!”
The back pack. That damn back pack. I have so many stupid feelings about that back pack. America said so herself, she raised herself, she livd on the streets for years. What do you wanna bet she’s carried this (or a) backpack around her hole life, heavy —not for her, but for her heart— filled with every. single. item. she owns in the world. Every picture, every spare change of star spangled clothes. Maybe a wallet, a fake ID, the cellphone Loki gave her, probably a tightly wrapped sleeping bag for the several times she can’t find a place to stay at.
We’ve always seen America travel so light, but this back pack is the first indication we’ve seen that she owns things, that she has things, that she has belongings to carry around. Do you wanna bet how off-limits that back pack was when she was living with the Young Avengers?
Oh, and that lucky charm! Where did it come from? Who gave it to her! Headcanon it was Billy, who was worried when she went off by herself again and he made a —real magically good lucked— amulet to keep her safe.