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08 January 2007 @ 12:28 pm
An Update, Late as Always  

It's way past the new year and I have yet to update this journal. I have, however, done a userpic purge. Those of you who know my userpics will possibly be surprised to see that I have removed almost 95% of the Mar/Olivia/Oliska based icons. Or--considering how awful SVU has been lately--perhaps this does not come as a surprise at all.

I've replaced them with a variety of fandoms, including Veronica Mars, Wheel of Time, Diesel Sweeties, and three new lovely Jeri Ryan icons made by my own hand. I had a burst of creative energy the other day and created three Jeri Ryan icons, two VM icons, and a Miranda Otto icon. The VM and Miranda icons are currently in contests and so are not up yet in my list, but at least two of them will be.

I have undertaken some modified self-improvement goals, namely the one going around LJ on reading 50 new books this year. As that would mean roughly 4 books per month and I just do not have that kind of time, I have modified my personal commitment to 20 new books in the year 2007. The rules are that I cannot have read the book previously, even if I do read it in its entirety again. The idea here is to learn something new.

I completed my first one last night.

BOOK #1: Embers by Sandor Marai. It's a book that was originally written in Hungarian and was translated to English from German. Despite that separation from the language of origin, I found the book to be suspenseful, interesting, well-written, lyrical and lovely. It is basically a conversation between two elderly gentlemen who were friends from childhood until one day, 41 years previously, something happened to kill that connection between them. I completely recommend it.

The next book on my list is Lessons in Becoming Myself by Ellen Burstyn. I asked for it and got it for Christmas. I look forward to reading this candid retelling of a complicated and unhappy life transformed. I'll let you know about it when I am done.

I am also modifying another challenge/goal I saw on my LJ somewhere: to see 100 new films in 2007. I am modifying it to 20 new films because, once again, I do not have time to see 8 to 9 films a month! However, the rules from above apply here as well. It has to be a film I have never seen before.

I completed the first one yesterday as well (Seems a busy day for me, eh? Trust me, it wasn't.)

FILM #1: V for Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Natalie's accent in the beginning was a little wobbly, a little changeable but became more solid later. And some things were glossed over rather than focused on like I felt they should be. Otherwise I thought it was frightening and a stinging criticism about our government and the not too far off future despite the film taking place in Great Britain.

From a political standpoint, I felt that this film should be required viewing in all high school history classrooms but that will never happen. What happened to teaching civics in this country, anyway? That's another question for later, I suppose.

From a "the personal is political" standpoint, I was both horrified and unsurprised by the usage of gays and lesbians as medical guinea pigs simply because they were "different" and therefore dangerous. Why unsurprised? When I came out 15 years ago, my mother quietly asked me this question: "When the government comes for gays and lesbians to put them into camps, will you please 'pass' so you don't have to go?" This was not ignorance or discrimination or even intolerance on my mother's part. She has always been completely supportive of my sexuality and my partners and has always held the belief that homosexuality is natural and without sin (long before I came out). This question was wrought from the political climate that preceded my coming out: the Reagan Era vilification of gays and lesbians because of AIDS. My mother clearly saw a time that gays and lesbians might be rounded up in encampments and exterminated. As a mother, she wished to spare her child such a horror and she asked me to 'pass'. It doesn't matter one iota that I refused; that isn't the point. The point is that she saw homosexual internment camps as a viable possibility in our country. And indeed, she isn't the only one. A gentleman running for minor political office in PA last year ran on the platform of making homosexuality a death-penalty felony. Five years ago, a Native American columnist posited the creation of "gay reservations", where GLBT persons would be required to live, separate from "normal society". As ridiculous as these possibilities seem, it takes little for a government to round up its citizens and contain them in camps. We did it during WWII with our legal Japanese-American citizens. Only 60 years ago.

Anyway, V for Vendetta was excellent. A thought-provoking, conversation-inspiring film.

I guess it would be unnecessary for me to say that an interest of mine that I will be spending more time on this year is political activism.

I also plan to spend more time on my sculpting, on my writing, on Tarot, and on possibly finding/crafting some sort of spirituality that will help me become a more balanced person.

I have big hopes for myself this year that include better health and making a home with the woman that I love. I have hopes that I can balance my work and my creative self and maintain some sort of good health.

Speaking of health, my doctor and I are discussing the possibility that I have Behcet's Disease, which is an auto-immune syndrome characterized by systemic inflammation. It could explain a variety of things that have plagued me since childhood, including my intestinal difficulties and the blindness in my left eye. Of course there is no cure--as is the case with many auto-immune diseases--but there are ways to minimize the effects of it. Once we've dealt with the liver damage, I'm sure we'll start a maintenance program of some sort. My doctor is supposed to be consulting with another local doctor about it.

I should have some new pics of Zoe and Gabriel, the wonder children, to put up soon. I am trying to get the Christmas pics from Dad.

In the meantime, I am doing well. Happy and completely in love with Tiffany. Caring of and cared for by my incredible family. Reconnecting with and supporting my friends. Succumbing to the New Year's habit of redefining, refining, and paring down my life.

One thing will never change about me. I'll always be weird. Sorry. Nothing I can do about it. ;)

Love to you all! I will attempt to update more regularly now that I have redesigned my computer locations to be more comfortable for long periods of time.

I wish you all happiness, wholeness, and health.


Current Location: Home
What the Voices in My Head Hear: VAST-Lady of Dreams
Tiffany: comic ds dinosaurs & sexpiekid on January 8th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
LOL Is it a coincidence that those new icons are from fandoms I'm responsible for getting you hooked on? You just need some OrneryBoy icons to round it out, methinks. ::VBEG::

This year my only New Year's resolution is to not make any New Year's resolutions. Or something like that. Does that work? If I make a New Year's resolution to not make New Year's resolutions, have I then made one and broken my resolution to not have New Year's resolutions?

My head hurts.


I love you, Sweetest.

Good thing you're weird, cuz I am too!
seftiri: Sokkaseftiri on January 8th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
I didn't necessarily make resolutions because I know better. I just sort of made areas of concentration. ;)

I love you too, Sunshine Girl.

And weird is wonderful!! :D
Shut up and smile: TV ll Charlie's Angels ll Kelly angelmorningafter2 on January 9th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
First, just how bad has SVU become? I stopped watching when Dani left.

Second, I looked at your icons, which are very nice, and noticed you have both Avatar and Questionable Content ones, which makes me a happy, squeeful girl, since both are awesome.

Third, V For Vendetta was the first movie I watched this year as well. I found the concept frightening, as it seems very possible to some extent, especially given the current political state of affairs.

Fourth, would you mind if I took your 20 books and 20 movies idea? It seems like it would be a good goal for me to have, as well.

Finally, Happy (belated) New Year. Hope it's wonderful for you and your loved ones. :D
seftiri: Kataraseftiri on January 9th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
First, SVU is bad. Bad bad bad. Hardly any Casey, lots of St. Oliska and Unstabler, and cases that hardly have anything to do with sexual crimes. It seems like it's become the Livvy and Elliot Save the World show. Blech!

Second, credit Tiffany. She gets me hooked on everything. I am thankful she's not a heroin dealer.

Third, yes, it does seem plausible. Thank god that we have a democratic majority in the house.

Fourth, please! I just modified someone else's ideas. I'd be interested in seeing your recommendations and reviews.

Finally, Happy New Year to you too, dear! May it be one of security and happiness for you and yours.
Shut up and smile: TV ll Charlie's Angels ll carouselmorningafter2 on January 9th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
First, that's really, really bad. It's become exactly what no one wanted it to become. I had been considering catching up on the episodes from where I left off, but... that's not going to happen now.

Second, Tiffany has wonderful taste.

Third, yes, thank God for small mercies I suppose. It's still up in the air as to how much good they'll do, unfortunately. :/

Fourth, I'm not very good at reviews, but I suppose this would be one way of getting better. So I'll get mine set up, hopefully before I go to bed tonight.

Finally, thank you!
a_noni_muss on January 9th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
happy New Year!

Lol seems like everyone is trying to read more (myself included). Not that I'm complaining mind you.

I heart you for teaching me something new. About the views toward GLBT. I had no idea they were that recent. I think many live in a bubble where we believe bigotry and discrimination are things of the past. Aaaaand I'll stop there before I get out the soap box. Nevertheless, I heart you for teaching me =P.

Hope you're starting off well with the New Year and I'll say a prayer for your health.

ciao bella.
seftiri: Smileseftiri on January 11th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)

Happy New Year to you too!

And I'm happy to let you know about the attitudes out there toward GLBT people. I'm somewhat of an activist. :)
shay: helennikkishaych_03 on January 9th, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)
it's good to see you posting :)

and count me in on those who wish you much success with good health :)

as for svu... the magic of c/o seems to have faded quickly, at least on screen... this does not mean that i'd toss any ideas that came my way into the trashbin, but there's not much source material anymore.

i heard a rumor that maybe stabler and benson might not make it to next season because of budgetary concerns. rumor only. truthfully, i can't see nbc letting both leads go, but i can certainly see mariska moving on to family life.

(tangentially, what does this mean for any c/o projects you've got sitting around? ;)

i saw V is for Vendetta the other day as well. excellent film. disturbing and thought provoking... as is Xmen III, in it's own way. (will not spoil, but if you think of mutants as glbt, as has been suggested by comic afficiandos, then the idea behind the plot of #3 is very frightening.)

for a fun show with good characters, you might check out Bad Girls... i've seen every ep of the 8 season series and loved 'em all. :)

anyway... happy new year :)
seftiri: Review Snarkseftiri on January 11th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
I doubt they'll actually get rid of Mar or Chris, no matter how much I wish it. They could curb Mar's annoyingness with just a pair of shears but they won't do that either is my guess.

There isn't a lot to work with c/o-wise, but I do have a few half-finished pieces I'd like to eventually finish.

As for Bad Girls, you're too late. fewthistle tried that already and I found the series to be depressing, hopeless, and generally too dark for me. And that was just in the first 4 or 5 episodes.

Happy New Year to you too!
shay: heldwithinshaych_03 on January 11th, 2007 09:45 am (UTC)
actually, i kind of like mar's new look. very 70's. (no more shag or whore hair from hell.) i actually miss the 4th season/early 5th season scruff-overs from the ultra butch look LOL

*whispers* C of L...

ahh yeah first series is... dark. however, it does lighten up and there is quite a bit of happiness, even though the dark times :) i guess it's crack for some, crud for others tho ;)
eclecticfan: alex olivia waveeclecticfan on January 10th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
notice the classic Olivia/Alex icon - must live the in the SVU past since the present causes hairballs... ::cough::

One thing will never change about me. I'll always be weird.

Oh, thank GOD! I was worried there for a bit. Here's to the weirdness!

As for the rest, good luck with the health - I hope you and the docs get it all figured out. And with the book reading and movie viewing and sculpting...

Happy 2007!!
seftiri: Strengthseftiri on January 11th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, I know. Though I am not a Cabot fan, so I'm just dreaming of S5 and S6.

Happy 2007 to you too!