Take my hand and I go under, part 2

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:20 pm
dolorosa_12: by ginnystar on lj (robin marian)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
This time two weeks ago I was drinking champagne with my mother, sister, [twitter.com profile] thelxiepia, and two family friends, worrying about the torrential rain that had suddenly tumbled out of the sky, and getting ready to head off to get married. In the end, my fears about the rain were unfounded: the storm stopped about half an hour before the wedding ceremony, and the skies cleared, meaning sunshine and warmth for photographs, and for our guests to enjoy sparkling wine in the gardens of our reception venue.

The wedding ceremony itself was wonderful. Many of my married friends told me they barely remembered anything from the day itself, and that everything passed by in a sort of blissed out blur. For my part, I can remember everything. We got married in Shire Hall (the registry office in Cambridge), in a room that unfortunately only seated fifty people (included me, Matthias, our photographer, and the celebrant), so many of our guests were only able to be invited to the reception. However, I was happy with the mix of people who were able to attend the ceremony: a nice mix of bridal party, family, and close friends from Cambridge.

Matthias and I entered the ceremony to the beautiful sounds of 'Black Water Lilies' by Aurora. We didn't write our own vows, and the celebrant mangled Matthias' middle name (pronouncing it in the English, rather than German way), but none of that mattered. We had two readings. The first, by Matthias' sister, was in German:

Da ist jemand,
der mich nimmt,
wie ich genommen
werden will;
der mich aufbaut
wenn mich etwas
niederdrückt;
der mich zu Herzen nimmt,
wenn mir etwas
über die Leber gelaufen ist;
der mir Gehör schenkt,
wenn mir das Leben
Rätsel aufgibt;
der für mich ist,
wenn sich alles gegen mich
verschworen hat.

Da ist jemand,
mit dem ich zusammen wachsen,
vielleicht sogar
zusammenwachsen darf.


Translation:

There is somebody
Who accepts me as I want to be accepted
Who lifts me up when something weighs me down
Who embraces me when something is bugging me
Who listens to me when life is posing me riddles
Who supports me when everything is conspiring against me

There is somebody with whom I may grow together
Maybe even grow entwined


(The play on words in the last stanza doesn't translate well, but basically involves two very similar sounding verbs, zusammen wachsen and zusammenwachsen, which I guess in English would translate as the two different meanings of 'grow together'.)

[twitter.com profile] thelxiepia read the second reading, an excerpt from one of my favourite poems, 'Homing Pigeons' by Mahmoud Darwish:

Where do you take me, my love, away from my parents
from my trees, from my little bed, and from my boredom,
from my mirrors, from my moon, from the closet of my life, from
where I stop for the night ... from my shyness?


Our friend Levi (for whom Matthias was best man four years ago) and my sister Miriam were our witnesses. While the marriage certificates were being signed, we played two pieces of music: 'All is Full of Love' by Björk, and 'Tonight We Burn Like Stars That Never Die' by Hammock. Here is a photo of us signing the certificates -- I think that gives a fairly accurate impression of our facial expressions for most of the day! After the ceremony, people left the room to the sounds of 'We Own the Sky' by M83. We then went off with our parents, my stepmother, our sisters, Matthias' brother-in-law and nephew, and Levi and [twitter.com profile] thelxiepia for photos in the gardens of our reception venue. Following this, the reception began, with drinks in the gardens, and then a four-course meal.

Everyone was really impressed by the food, which made me really happy, since we had put a lot of thought into the menu and food is generally the thing I most remember about events such as weddings. I was particularly glad that the vegans and vegetarians attending had made a point of thanking us for their meals, and that it hadn't simply been a meal with the meat removed but no substitutes provided. The cake was a three-tiered citrus cake: the bottom cake was orange, the middle lemon, and the top lime.

After speeches by Levi, my family friend and former editor Gia, and Matthias and me, we inflicted our absolutely glorious eurodance/'90s music playlist on everyone. It wasn't the danciest of weddings I've ever been to, but I had fun dancing, and so did those who joined in. I think there's some video footage of me, [twitter.com profile] thelxiepia and the other sraffies dancing to 'Saturday Night' by Whigfield floating around, but I'm not going to try to track it down! I'll leave that glory to your imaginations.

The entire wedding and reception were wonderful, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I was worried about so many things, and not one of them happened. I feared I wouldn't remember the day, or that I would spend the entire time fretting about other people, or that I wouldn't get a chance to eat, to dance, to talk to the people I wanted to talk to, and none of that eventuated. Instead, the whole thing was just a lovely party, with the person I've chosen to spend the rest of my life, and all the people we love around us. There were people there I've known since birth, since preschool, one secondary school friend (*waves at [livejournal.com profile] catpuccino*), friends from my postgrad years at Cambridge, sraffies (Philip Pullman fandom friends), and people I had just met that day. It really meant a lot to have my sister there (and indeed to have three 'sisters' as bridesmaids: my sister by blood, my sister by marriage, and my sister by choice), as well as those relatives who made the trek from Australia, although I was sad that not many of them were able to do so.

About marriage itself I feel complicated feelings. I'm an atheist, so I was always going to have a secular wedding, and don't view the ceremony itself as being sacramental. My own parents never married (nor is my father married to my stepmother), and I don't believe that marriage is necessary to be a good partner or a good parent. But I have always had a deep love of rituals and ceremonies marking important moments in peole's lives, and unlike my own parents, I always knew I wanted to get married if circumstances allowed, and that I wanted to have some kind of party to celebrate my wedding. Being married didn't make me feel differently about Matthias, or that our relationship had changed in any perceptible way (although, being a migrant, I am painfully aware of all the ways being married privileges a person in terms of immigration, visas, and passing on citizenship to one's children). Rather, I felt in the ceremony that we were publicly declaring something we have long felt. It feels odd to talk about 'my husband', or describe myself as someone's wife, but I imagine this will change over time.

The world is dark and frightening, and Matthias and I have gone through a lot to be able to live together as migrants in a country that is becoming increasingly xenophobic, but our life together is a light that gives me courage to keep working and trying and learning and growing. I wish that same light -- wherever you find it -- for all of you.
newredshoes: sign: what's stopping you (<3 | what's stopping you?)
[personal profile] newredshoes
Social media and the news (plus a number of other stressors) are making me tachycardia city all day, every day. I am going to try and just... stay off all screens this weekend, if possible. Maybe email me, maybe text me, but like... the world is just not working right now.

cyprinella: Picture of my dog Greta with a big doggie grin and her tongue hanging out (Greta yay)
[personal profile] cyprinella

It’s been about a week to the hour since I came home early from work. Greta got up to greet me. After I bustled around the house a bit, I noticed that she was standing in one place staring at me. I thought she wanted up on the couch but wasn’t feeling up to jumping so I lifted her up. She sat there for a minute and then oozed slowly off to lay on the floor and pant. Her tail never wagged when I said her name. That’s when I realized it wasn’t good.

I’m gonna spare everyone the hours of trying to get a hold of my husband while crying and then waiting for him to get home, all the while exchanging text messages with A. who had gone through similar stuff recently and was an excellent support. We got Greta to the emergency vet and they confirmed that her tumor had started bleeding into her abdomen. One overdose of anesthetic later and she was gone.

I miss her dearly. My house is too quiet while trash thieves and children on bikes pass unchallenged. My bed is too big, my couch too empty. There’s no (non-poop fountain) dog here to eat my carrots, cheese, and crackers. It’s been a rough, sad week.

I’m glad we have Zille here. Her solution to everything is “Throw a ball.” It’s a good distraction. And by god, she’s an easy dog, which is something you could never say about Greta. But I don’t think she could have taught me nearly so much about dogs as Greta. I’m a better person for Greta being in my life.

I’m going to end this three pictures that I think encompass how I’ll always think of her: Checking to see if the dinner I was eating was for dogs with her tail a blur of hopeful wags, snuggling with me on the couch, and telling boats to fuck right off. I’ll miss you, Greta-face.

Greta begging at the table

Greta snuggling on the couch

Greta standing in a large body of water and looking away in the distance

musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
[personal profile] musesfool
So maybe there finally is an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie in the pipeline. Ewan McGregor's been pretty vocal about wanting to do one and he's the right age for something set smack dab in the middle of Obi-Wan's sad desert hermit years, which is what I'm guessing they'll do. The comics have been delving into that time a bit, and I would love to see either a noir or an elegiac western (or a noir western!) featuring him fighting Hutts and bounty hunters while watching over Luke (who wouldn't be present onscreen) from afar.

And Disney's already got Rosario Dawson in all the Marvel Netflix shows, so slap some head tails on her and have Ahsoka show up, and maybe Bail Organa as well. (I mean, I would ALSO be super into them retconning Satine's death if it meant we could get Cate Blanchett showing up as Satine. Or I guess they could cast Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan for live action too.)

I feel like the only way I'd be interested in a young, non-Ewan Obi-Wan movie is if they give us the story of his year on the run with Satine, but then they'd have to actually make all that Mandalorian stuff make sense, and I'm not sure that 1. it does or could, and 2. that I care about anything except their angsty teen romance. It would mean bringing Liam Neeson back, which I'm not sure they'd do either. It would also require finding a young actor who could pull it off which could be difficult. Otoh, there's Tom Holland? He could maybe? idk.

And in conclusion, I think sad desert hermit Obi-Wan fighting Hutts and gangsters is the way to go.

***

hope for an answer some day

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:00 pm
musesfool: toph (come with me if you want to live)
[personal profile] musesfool
TNT has optioned N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season! Which is great news!

I have questions though, because I can't imagine it being an easy novel to adapt. spoilers )

It'll be interesting TV regardless, I bet.

***

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:28 am
topaz119: (Default)
[personal profile] topaz119
This not-working-from-home thing is kinda lame. I am reserving judgement until I see what kind of stock grant they’re talking about, but I’m (privately) putting them on notice because I am not sure I want to keep going into an office 5 days/week and having to sort the rest of life out on the fringes. I know that’s how most people work, but I’m not sure I want to go back to that, at least not w/o any significant financial incentive. (Or, I’m just having my regularly scheduled omg-school-started-I-hate-life freakout--it's hard to say.)
/whine

So, there’s some travel stuff coming up, maybe I can see some of you…?
  • Sun/Mon, Aug 20-21 – Eclipse Day – I’m taking the easy way out and just going up north a bit, around Lake Hartwell. (Fingers crossed for weather.)
  • Thurs-Mon, Aug 31-Sept4 – DragonCon – We’re in the same hotel as recent years and you all know how much I &heart; the bartenders at Pulse in the Marriott, so yell at me if you’re going to be around. No cosplay this year, unless I throw together some random steampunk persona.
  • Fri-Sun, Sept8-10 – NYC!! – I have to burn some Ritz-Carlton free nights and this is literally the only weekend between now & Nov that D’s & my schedules align. I haven’t booked flights yet, but we’ll be staying down in the Financial District (b/c, see above, re: free.) I have no idea what my dear, darling husband wants to do, but I generally have to keep him busy, so I’m thinking a walking tour on Saturday morning, ending in Brooklyn & then maybe a show on Sat night & I don’t know what on Sunday morning, but maybe the Met…?

    There's possibly a little bit more to come, but I have to see how kids' schedules shake out.


    ....aaaaaand I'm late for Wednesday books, but that’s not much of a surprise by this point, right?

    finished
    Dark Days Club, Alison Goodman – So very much a Regency Buffy, which is not a bad thing, just amusing. Good world-building, both the Regency and the demon stuff—I really felt like she loved both sources and worked hard to integrate them. I’ll have to see if the library has the next one.

    A Queen From The North, Erin McRae, Racheline Maltese – You all know how much I love me a modern-day, marry-the-prince romance (well, when I’m not ranting about how poorly it was executed), and this one has the added catnip of an alternate history timeline that is actually rooted in the War of Roses and all of that fallout, so when I saw/heard this on one of the romance blogs (I’m thinking it was redheadedgirl on Smart Bitches, b/c our tastes tend to align) I snagged it up and inhaled it in a day. (I ask you: what’s not to love about a marriage-of-convenience-turned-real plot? Well, again: the execution of it all.) Verdict: goooooood. And more to come. The romance itself was a little low-key, but the supporting characters were good (and wonderfully not a solid wall of white-cis-het) and while yes, most of the obstacles could have been avoided by actual communication between the principals, it felt like everybody’s reasons for avoidance were real (stupid, but real, which is so true) so that worked for me—I am looking forward to the next in the series.

    Warrior’s Apprentice, Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by someone who was fine, but not worth going to find the listing as I write this – The House of Boys loooooves the Vorkosigans, and since I have worked my way through their other love (Dresden), I figured I’d go for these, too. I was entertained, though the cover image is horrible and I could have gone for someone reading this who was closer in age to the teenaged Miles. Minor quibbles, though. I need to line up the next one because #2Son is leading off our conversations as I leave the office with things like, “seriously, don’t be looking at your twitter feed at stoplights. You need to keep yourself distracted until you’re home,” which is probably not untrue. I’m really only reading to get to A Civil Campaign and the most recent novel about Cordelia, but I’ll go through the intervening steps.


    now
    The Darwath Trilogy, Barbara Hambly – I got sidetracked on this one b/c Dark Days was horribly overdue and then Queen came zooming in out of nowhere and totally sideswiped my attention, but I made myself pick it back up last night to keep from cycling through twitter endlessly.


    next
    I need to maybe grab the next Peter Grant or Vorkosigan on audio, and then go through what BabyBoy brought back from the Shared Worlds book giveaway. I’m 6 books behind on my book challenge, but part of that is because I get into series and end up reading 4 books where only 1 counts toward the specific trope or setting or whatever for the challenge.


    Ciao, kids!
  • (no subject)

    Aug. 17th, 2017 12:48 am
    alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
    [personal profile] alexseanchai
    hi does someone want to explain why in #dreamwidth
    (12:42:01 AM) AlexSeanchai left the room (quit: K-Lined).
    because if I did something wrong someone needs to fucking inform me, and if something else is wrong (I notice rodgort got the same treatment one second sooner) then let me flag it up for y'all who #dreamwidth IRC

    ETA: I'm back in

    Words!

    Aug. 16th, 2017 10:52 pm
    schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
    [personal profile] schneefink
    I haven't written fic since *checks* May, huh. But then suddenly I got an idea, and now in the past three days I've written over three thousand words and it feels amazing. Story writing is a thing I can do! Oh man, I missed this feeling of getting words onto a page, instead of being stuck at the image-to-word conversion process in my brain.

    Btw, I recently read a piece on writer's block that I liked a lot, So you're having a bad writing day: Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose.
    Writing is hard, and that's okay. (Clearly prolific authors who update frequently are wizards.)

    i'm not saying you're not on my mind

    Aug. 16th, 2017 02:02 pm
    musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
    [personal profile] musesfool
    I don't generally play games on my phone - I have a sordid history with computer games going back to the days of Police Quest and the Indiana Jones game, where I would stay up all night playing and then be unable to get up for class. So I've made a conscious choice to just not go there again, though I have been known to waste some time playing solitaire or bubble spinner or Tetris of an evening.

    And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!

    And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.

    Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!

    What I've just finished
    Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.

    Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.

    Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.

    Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we see him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.

    Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.

    Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.

    Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.

    I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.

    What I'm reading now
    The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*

    What I'm reading next
    The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.

    ***

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